Ajankohtainen kakkonen: Four immigrant candidates

by , under Enrique

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.


  1. PS voter

    If the foreign voters feel that they don’t know enough about political parties and candidates to vote, I think it might be sign that we have too easily the right to vote for them. One should known enough about the local politics, be able to follow local news and other discussions, before being able to vote.

    • Joonas

      – One should known enough about the local politics, be able to follow local news and other discussions, before being able to vote.

      Sorry to break your bubble, but do you really think all native voters are following the local politics either? Yes, it would be ideal that only people who knows something about politics could vote, but that will never happen. I could say that many 18-year old voters don’t know anything about politics, but still might vote.

    • Mark

      PS Voter

      OH come on. Since when does the right to vote depend on having knowledge of politics. It’s called a right to vote, not a ‘license’ to vote, or a ‘qualification’ to vote.

      Oh dear, you are not too hot on the issue of basic rights, are you? No wonder you’ve found comfort in the warm bosom of PS.