Will the real Timo Soini and the PS please stand up?

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Perussuomalaiset chairperson Timo Soini’s decision to sit it out in the opposition should be seen as a hard blow and a failure of the party to cash in on its election gains in April.

How is it possible that a party like the PS, which rose from relative obscurity to become the third-largest party on its strong anti-EU stance has decided to sit it out in the opposition? The answer to that question is as inscrutable as Soini and the PS.

Never in the history of Finland has a party that won so many seats in an election ended up in the opposition.

Sensible Finns understand that our economic and social well-being hinges on the EU. If the EU and euro fail so does Finland. Europe’s problems are Finland’s.

Giving Finnish voters a picture that this country can survive on its own as an isolated island from the rest of the world and live off nationalist rhetoric is reckless. Some call it populism.

As we have mentioned on this blog on a number of occasions, there is nothing wrong speaking out for people who are socially excluded. But to add to that message xenophobia and suspicion of the outside world, immigrants and refugees destroys all credibility of such a noble message.

The Mr.-Hyde-and-Dr.-Jeckyll style of politicking by the PS shows that it isn’t a serious party. It turns into and acts like a Mr. Hyde with minorities and is a Dr. Jekyll with Finnish voters.

In the 1960s and 1970s there was a popular US TV show called “To tell the truth.” Three persons appeared on the show with the same name. A panel had to figure out who was the correct person.

Soini’s odd political bedfellows beg for the same answer as in the popular TV show: Will the real Timo Soini and PS please stand up?

  1. Allan

    Never before has a party stood to what it promised to its voters before the elections. Historical indeed.

    P.S.Immigrants do not vote, citizens do.

  2. Allan

    Now as Katainen has decided his “dream team” without consulting the SDP, this brings up a few interesting options. RKP is in no matter what and Katainen coldsholdered Arhinmäki. The question is will the Greens and KD fit in as they have totally polarized agendas. And how much SDP has to sell out. Now if the Greens or KD will not play then Katainen is up the creek.

    If Katainen would drop the paddle to Urpilainen Finland would go deaf from the sound of coats turning. But the option of then a pure “redneck” government is not any more easier to form unless Kepu came along.

    Historical indeed, the era of lying to your voters has come to an end.

  3. Hmmm

    “Giving Finnish voters a picture that this country can survive on its own as an isolated island from the rest of the world and live off nationalist rhetoric is not only reckless but irresponsible.”

    PS has said it is in favour of European co-operation, just on a different scale. Suggesting that PS has said that “this country can survive on its own as an isolated island from the rest of the world” is just a convinient lie. If I were writing a blog, I’d prefer to sticking to the facts available.

  4. David

    Be the largest party in opposition could be a master stroke for PS.
    It gives the new members of parliament the time to gain experience on how the political system works, without the pressure of being a party in government. But as the numbers of seats separating the largest three parties was only a handful , Kokomus may need the support of PS to pass one of its polices if SDP are not giving support in numbers, and this is also vice versa for the SDP. So PS will be asking the question “if we are going to support you on this issue , then we want your support us on this issue”.

    • Enrique

      Hi David thank you for visiting Migrant Tales. The opposition is a good place to grow. You must remember that the PS got protest votes. The question is if you can rely on such votes being faithful to you in the next election. Maybe yes if the PS were a normal party. The future isn’t that clear as one may think. What do you think?

  5. JusticeDemon

    Allan has never heard of naturalisation.

    Your second contribution above may sound good at the ABC asema after a couple of beers, but to educated native speakers it’s pure gibberish.

    …without consulting the SDP

    Was the TV broken in the patients’ lounge at Lapinlahti last week?

  6. Allan

    JD – show me where it says an immigrant can vote in parliamentary elections? A citizen is not an immigrant, even hes naturanl or unnatural.

  7. David

    ” You must remember that the PS got protest votes”

    Thats why spending the the electoral term in opposition could be the best thing for the party they can spend their term showing why PS should be the first choice and not a protest vote. Over the next electoral term I would be in doubt to see more bailouts and more government pandering to the EU which can only can help the party in the next election .Being in the big time and being in government all at the same time would have I think too much for PS to cope with. But being a opposition party with such a huge vote does put you in a different league to other opposition parties which Finland has seen.PS being in opposition is seen as a failure for them, but if you see where they where in the previous election and if the current political climate continues where they could be in the next election this is not a failure but progress. There was a phrase used in the election “When in Rome” there is also another one PS could use “Rome was not built in a day”

  8. David

    Correction:

    Over the next electoral term I would be in “No” doubt to see more bailouts and more government pandering to the EU which can only can help the party in the next election .

    • Enrique

      You may be right David but you have to remember that the PS won’t get 30% never mind over 50% of the vote. The great majority of the Finns continue to vote for the traditional parties. For the PS to end up in the opposition by its own making was a fumble. Basing your own campaign on anti-EU sentiment is too narrow. To succeed in politics you need flexibility, which the PS lacks.

  9. Allan

    The “Portugal bailout” is just a tip of the iceberg, the economies of the countries are not in any way on a stable basis. And they have done nothing to curb spending, whats it now Greece is building a F1 track? The Germans are making noise the whole scenario is against the directives and are not happy their parliament has no say in the issue. Finland saying yea or nay is pretty much insignificant in the whole scenario – Katainen just wants to be an EU-posterboy and make himself and his cronies some lucrative EU-positions available. If Soini had gotten his way that would also not had any effect on what happens with Greece, Ireland, Portugal and the rest. The eurozone is turds in a toilet that has been flushed and the whirlpool is there. The only difference is Katainen wants to jump in with the big turds in the middle and hope the chute gets clogged while Soini wanted to try and be a nasty floater. In the end the euro is still in deep shit as the control systems did not work.

  10. Martin-Éric

    Let’s dare call PS for what they really are: spineless junttis. If they had any spine, they would join the coalition and show us that the’re not just talks. Wait, they are, and irresponsible at that.

    • Enrique

      I agree Martin-Eric: the PS didn’t show their best side by ditching the talks. If they would have formed government that would have put the party under such strain that it would have snapped.

  11. David

    That was why kesk under the leadership of Mari Kiviniemi got slaughtered by the voters. She was a puppet to the EU and did what she was told. The True Finns on their own could never have changed the EU but what it could have done was question the EU and hindered them and not roll over when they where told. Mari Kiviniemi and kesk are now not only in opposition but under a party which benefited from her lack of courage

  12. David

    Basing your own campaign on anti-EU sentiment is too narrow. To succeed in politics you need flexibility, which the PS lacks.

    They have a electoral term to find that flexibility. With the vote percentage they gained the other two parties will have to seek their help in support, and thats when PS will understand give and take . But if PS can hold the balance of power on certain issues they may gain more that way than being a part of government. Being the largest party in opposition with 19.0 % of the vote and not sharing the same bed as the other parties as what we used to have (Its your turn now to lead and then its mine) is no way a failure

  13. Allan

    If the PS and the Left are left in the opposition will be able to either effect as a strong opposition or then bark loudly as they share quite a lot of the same economical stands, as does the KD. Keskusta played its cards becoming a “city” party and forgetting its “hickbase” the PS have been preying on. Now the rainbow coalition is all “city” as well, the Greens will get slaughtered with their compromises and SDP with being a lapdog, the “winner” is the Coalition. Thats is why SDP wants the Left to the government to be able to counterbalance. KD and SFP are there for the ride. If they go ahead as Katainen plans the Greens with their “universal marriage” and KD with their conservative stance are going to be fun to watch.

  14. David

    If the Greens or KD SFP join the collation then he has to give them positions in areas which where not a issue in the election. keep the EU and Immigration cabinet positions for his party so he can take the glory as his party are in positions to deal with voter concerns . And throw issues which where low on voters concerns to other minor parties. Keep the voter concerns to the right and the others to the left.

  15. JusticeDemon

    Allan

    Is a naturalised immigrant still an immigrant?

    Just asking.

    In view of this remark:

    A citizen is not an immigrant, even hes naturanl or unnatural.

    I suggest you look up naturalisation in a dictionary before you respond.

    The top billed domestic news item in yesterday’s Hesari (page A 5) was headlined Sinipuna on hallituksen runko with a big picture of Katainen and Urpilainen arriving together at a press conference to announce their deal.

    Puheenjohtajat Jyrki Katainen (kok) ja Jutta Urpilainen (sd) hehkuttivat illalla hyvää keskinäistä yhteistyötä.

    “Aika tiukkaan vedetty umpisolmu on avattu”, Katainen sanoi. “Jos Sdp ja kokoomus eivät olisi päässeet tästä sopimukseen, ratkaisua ei olisi syntynytkään.”

    Sdp julkisti tiistaina omat vaatimuksensa siitä, millaista sijoittajavastuuta EU:n tulevissa rahoitusvakausjärjestelyissä tulee olla. Urpilaisen mukaan kokoomuksen ja Sdp:n neuvotteluissa asiaan löytyi kestävä linja, jonka taakse voi asettua koko vaalikaudeksi.

    “Suomen linja muuttuu”, Urpilainen sanoi. “Kyllä minä annan kiitettävän tästä. Olen erittäin tyytyväinen tähän neuvottelutulokseen. Tältä pohjalta on hyvä lähteä neuvottelemaan hallituksesta.”

    Now obviously this was all a huge collective illusion, because as you said above:

    Katainen has decided his “dream team” without consulting the SDP

    You really need to take ALL of the pills that those nice chaps in white coats give you in the morning. We don’t want any more straitjacket incidents.

  16. Allan

    “Is a naturalised immigrant still an immigrant?”

    Well they are not an ulkomaalainen any more are they? or are you claiming being immigrant is hereditary as well?

    And JD – how about you take some literacy pills.

    Which part of: Kataisen ulostulo yllätti SDP:n ja MTV3:n uutisten tavoittamien demarien mukaan heille ei kerrottu asiasta. SDP:n johto valmistautui vielä illalla neuvottelemaan hallitukseen havittelevien puolueiden kanssa. do you have a hard time understanding?

  17. Allan

    So, M-E David & Enrique, why are you not calling Arhinmaki spineless then also? After all he declined for the very same anti-Eu bailout issue? Or are you being verafennophobic again?

  18. JusticeDemon

    Allan

    This is basic terminology. An immigrant is a person with a certain history of migration. A foreigner (or alien) is a person who is not a citizen (i.e. this is a legal status). These are fundamentally different categories.

    A naturalised immigrant is an immigrant who has become a citizen. A naturalised immigrant is still an immigrant, but no longer a foreigner. Some immigrants are already Finnish citizens when they arrive in Finland (these are Finnish citizens born abroad) and some foreigners in Finland are not immigrants (the foreigners who were born in Finland and are often loosely called “second-generation immigrants”).

    Now look at what you said:

    show me where it says an immigrant can vote in parliamentary elections? A citizen is not an immigrant, even hes naturanl or unnatural.

    “Is a naturalised immigrant still an immigrant?”
    Well they are not an ulkomaalainen any more are they?

    You seek to avoid the charge of racism by saying that you are “immigration-critical”, yet you have not even mastered the most basic terminology of the immigration debate and you are confused about its most fundamental categories.

    The most that can be inferred from the commentary that you quoted is that some SDP members were not aware of the deal that Katainen and Urpilainen reached on Wednesday. What you said was this:

    Katainen has decided his “dream team” without consulting the SDP

    What did you mean by “without consulting” that is consistent with the press conference given jointly by Katainen and Urpilainen in Parliament House on Wednesday evening?

  19. Allan

    The most that can be inferred from the commentary that you quoted is that some SDP members were not aware of the deal that Katainen and Urpilainen reached on Wednesday.

    What did you mean by “without consulting” that is consistent with the press conference given jointly by Katainen and Urpilainen in Parliament House on Wednesday evening?

    I meant exactly what I wrote and everything is quite consistent. If you are not able to differentiate between “agreeing on EU-Portugal-bailout deal” and “agreeing on which other parties will form the cabinet” it is not my problem. Unlike you I can also understand what I read.

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