There’s an interesting news documentary this week on Ajankohtainen kakkonen about immigrant candidates taking part in the October 28 municipal elections. One matter that bothered me about the program was the use of the word mamu by the reporters when referring to the candidates.
Mamu is the shortened word for maahanmuuttajia, or immigrant. There are mixed opinions among immigrants about what the term implies.
Another matter that the program lacked was that we didn’t get any clear idea what these candidates stand for on major municipal issues like health care, pensioners, high unemployment and social exclusion of young people.
As immigrant candidates, I would have been interested in knowing what their stand was on the role of cultural diversity in Finland.
There was, however, one Romanian candidate of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, Cristian Tudose, who said he was running because Finns were too naive to protect their culture.
”Finns need foreigners to protect their culture because Finns are too naive and cannot say loudly enough that, ‘hey, now we do things our way here.’”
One of the matters that has always worried me about some immigrants who move to this country is how their own prejudices find a cosy home in Finland. Romania is far from being a model country for cultural diversity if we take into account the shameful plight of the Romany minority there.
In the last municipal elections, 96,373 immigrants were eligible to vote but only 19.6% did so. Today that number has grown by about 40,000 to 137,005. How many will vote is a good open question.
Linus Atarah, iCount campaign coordinator, said that the big problem concerning immigrant voters is that many do not know enough about the parties never mind for which candidate they should vote for.
Some 400 immigrants are running for office in the upcoming municipal elections.