By Enrique Tessieri
The many problems of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party worsened today after a poll published by YLE showed the popularity of the party further slipping by 1.7 percentage points to 14.1%. The biggest party was Kokoomus (22.6%), followed by the Social Democrats (up 1.8% to 19.1%) and the Center Party (16.4%).
The plunge in the polls is quite significant, taking into account that the PS’ popularity once stood as high as 23%. The party won 19.1% of the votes in last year’s election.
Without a doubt it’s been a scandal-rich year for the major tabloids, thanks to the numerous PS racist gaffes, foot-in-mouth displays, declarations of wars against immigrants and the media, members joining neo-Nazi parties, satirically suggesting Holocaust-style armbands to help police in ethnic profiling, decorating cold-blooded killers and recent internal bickering.
In the meantime keep your seatbelts fastened. This is only the first year and we still have three more to go. What kind of a country will Finland look like after four years of the PS in Parliament? Will we recognize it? How much damage will be done to the credibility of our institutions, never mind our international image?
The people who lifted the PS from a minor to a major party last year are now sending it back to where it came from. There is no sympathy from the major parties, never mind the media, which has grown some teeth after initially treating the PS as some kind of sensation before the election.
Migrant Tales has constantly warned about the PS and the damage it is capable of inflicting on Finland. Our editorial line, and the fact that we got it right, explain why our blog has seen unprecedented growth in the past year.
Migrant Tales wrote shortly after the election: “Another factor that spurred the PS to new heights was a watershed statement in March 2010 by Kokoomus chairman Jyrki Katainen, who stated that being critical and debating immigrant issues in this country didn’t make you a racist. After that green light to racism was given, the Social Democratic leadership gave the PS another pat on the back with their infamous saying, maassa maan tavalla.”
Supporting the PS is not just being anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-establishment but supporting a party that aims to change Finland into something that it isn’t quite sure of. Some PS MPs want to take it back to the 1950s while others are fascinated by the fascism that mushroomed in the 1930s.
There is no room for dissent in the narrow-minded world of the PS. All you have to do is repeat patronizingly after every other word fatherland, fatherland and fatherland.
Like Migrant Tales, Sweden got it right a year ago.
Immediately after the PS election victory the New York Times wrote: “In the European news media, particularly in Sweden, the True Finns have come under fire as right-wing racists. Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and others have defended Mr. Soini from such accusations, though other members of his party hold more radical views on immigration.”
Even Social Democrat Lasse Lehtinen tried to assure Europeans that they have nothing to fear. “Timo Soini is actually a very civilized guy,” he was quoted as saying in the New York Times. “He reads a lot. He thinks a lot.”
If the leaders of the major parties and the majority of Finns had been visible immigrants for a day before the election, then they would have seen Soini and the threat of the PS much more clearly, as they do today.