One reads and hears less these days about the reasons why the Perussuomalaiset (PS) scored such a big election victory in April. While casting a protest vote is a positive signs that our democracy functions, what did the voters actually contend? Political corruption? Immigration? Refugees? Mandatory Swedish? Ever-growing income gaps and social inequality?
Since politicians and political parties have the most to gain from an election and the voters the least, some campaigns are carried out like aggressive used-car salesmen. The newer the party the more exaggerated its promises, while the more traditional ones give different sales pitches.
The PS, which is the new kid on the big party block, did a good job because it instilled fear and awoke passions so you’d buy its used car.
What the PS salesman won’t tell you are the real problems of the vehicle you purchased. Some of these are that the car has had ten owners, the mileage meter has been tampered, sawdust has been mixed with the oil and that he is charging you 80% more than the real price of the car.
Apart from the anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Islam sales pitch of many PS MP candidates, some voters are already noticing that they purchased a lemon.
One does not have to be a political scientist to understand that Finland will never find effective solutions to its challenges in Timo Soini’s simplistic sound bites and by polarizing our society between “true Finns” and “untrue Finns.”
Like a person that attracts bad company, the most unfortunate and questionable side of Soini’s PS has been its far-right wing led by MPs who are members of Suomen Sisu. Almost every week there is a worrisome revelation by the media about Jussi Halla-aho, who we now know disliked human rights in 2001 because they encouraged tolerance between black and white people.
The worst lemons of the PS are Halla-aho and his PS MP followers like James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen, Juho Erola and others. They are selling you a car that runs on the ideology of Nazi war criminal Alfred Rosenberg, David Duke, former head of the Klu Klux Klan, and Michael Levin. All this, of course, in an early twenty-first century Finnish context.
If Soini’s party was incapable of capitalizing on such a big election victory by entering government it is doubtful that they’ll be given a second chance by the voters.
Voters do protest but they want results as well.