Migrant Tales wrote the following day after the historic April 17, 2011 election had sent shock waves throughout Finland and Europe: “Far-right populism is an illness inflicting Europe at present and it now has a beachhead in Finland.”
Back then, our blog got got cited by Time Magazine. The above quote was a response to PS chairman Timo Soini’s statement: “We [the PS] are not extremists so you can sleep safely.”
The rise of a large right-wing populist party with Counterjihadists could not have been possible without the complacency and silence of other political parties. The PS in its present state and size is a knee-jerk reaction to Finland’s ever-growing cultural diversity, the euro crisis and political establishment.
Even if the PS claims to be an option to the way politics have been traditionally practiced in Finland, it’s a mirror of the other parties in their crudest form. In those traditional parties, like the PS, you’ll find many who are just as conservative, intolerant, oppose cultural diversity and see the outside world with manifest unease.
How far has that beachhead spread in twenty-two months?
There’s bad and good news. The bad news is that the PS will remain, at least for the time being, a player in Finnish politics that other parties will eye with distrust and unease. The good news is that it’s doubtful that the party will ever match its 2011 election result. That became clear in the presidential and municipal elections, which were disappointments for Soini and the party.
Another important wild card to hit the PS was mass-killer Anders Breivik.
The Nordic region was never the same for anti-immigration populist parties like the PS after Breivik erupted with his Counterjihadist crusade and started murdering in cold blood innocent people.
These factors, together with many the many scandals that have rocked the party in recent months, have undermined the PS if not permanently from ever becoming a credible party.
Even if Soini claims that the municipal election was a clear victory for the PS, it was anything but that if we compare it with their parliamentary election victory. Half of those that voted for the PS in April 2011 had ditched the party by October 2012.
While the PS has been a great source of scoops for Finland’s yellow press, it must be a disappointment for some of its supporters. What has it accomplished in parliament except for poisoning the air with its Finnish teaparty populism?
Even if the PS appears to have suffered unconvincing election setbacks in the presidential and municipal elections, the party is on a collision course with itself as well.
Right after the municipal elections of October 28, Soini announced that the PS will become the biggest party in Finland in the EU parliamentary elections of 2014.
Making such promises and having to eat your words will not help the PS but deepen its problems.
A party that cannot root out its racists, fascists and political opportunists can never lead a good country like Finland, unless we wish to destroy what we’ve worked so hard to build.
- See also Finland election: A perilous watershed.