When do you know when Timo Soini and the Perussuomalaiset (PS) have crossed the line and passed a political point of no return? The 50,000-euro ad on the front page of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest-circulation daily, blasting the government’s euro bailout policy is one of many examples. While more voters are turning their backs to the PS, the party has burned as well important bridges with other political groups in this country.
Timo Soini and the PS have got a lot of people pissed off in Finland. One of these is Paavo Pyykkönen.
Just like the party’s rhetoric and criticism of the EU, euro, gay marriage, immigrants and Muslims, the biggest threat to the PS doesn’t come from abroad or from outside the party but from within. The PS comprises of such a rambunctious group of people that anything can happen. It is a wild card that bases its future political exploits on chance, never on concrete workable policies.
An opinion poll published by YLE last week revealed that the PS is “hemorrhaging support” to the opposition Center Party, which has taken a less openly hostile position in the opposition than Soini’s party. Yle in English quotes Jari Pajunen, head researcher at Taloustutkimus, as saying that the Center Party has managed to attract low-income workers into its ranks.
Voters appear to be getting tired with the PS’ anti-EU message, which sounds like a broken record playing over and over again the same rhetoric without any solutions.
“There must be some significance [that the PS’ anti-EU message is wearing thin], because here at home the discussion is on rather concrete issues that touch everyone. EU matters are always a bit more abstract,” Pajunen said.
While Soini is raising the stakes on next year’s EU parliamentary elections to help the PS score a similar parliamentary election victory in 2015 as in 2011, it’s doubtful that this will happen. If anything, the PS appears to be heading south in the polls and in the eyes of the voters.
Migrant Tales has never doubted that the PS is a pernicious political force whose rhetoric and actions polarize people living in this country. If the PS had its way, immigrants and visible minorities would be relegated to fourth- and fifth-class status in this country.
In the minds of too many PS politicians, there would be one set of laws for white Finns and another one for non-white “not-real” Finns.
Even if the PS tries to portray itself as a party close to “the masses,” it’s nothing more than a conservative party in the same ideological league as the right-wing populist Tea Party of the United States.