MTV3 poll shows Social Democrats most satisfied with immigration policy

by , under All categories, Enrique

A poll published by MTV3 on Sunday shows that the Social Democrats are the most satisfied with Finland’s immigration policy, with Kokoomus and the Center Party wanting stricter controls.

The results of the poll are the opposite of what SDP chairperson Jutta Urpilainen and MP Eero Heinäluoma have been signalling about tighter controls on labor immigration and that foreigners should respect Finnish values (maassa maan tavalla).

According to the poll, 36% of Social Democrats believe that Finland’s present immigration policy was not strict enough compared with 66% and 60% of Kokoomus and Center Party respondents, respectively. What is surprising is that 47% of the Social Democrats responded that the present immigration policy was adequate compared with Kokoomus (26%)  and the Center Party (36%).

As one Social Democrat told Migrant Tales, the results of the MTV3 poll are the opposite of what the party leadership has been signalling about tighter controls on immigration. “It is a short-sighted policy because the economic situation can turn for the better and then what are you going to say?” the source said.

  1. JusticeDemon

    The survey concerned Finnish immigration policy, not immigration law, but the main problem with surveys of this kind is that neither the consultants who perform them nor the subjects who respond to them really have much idea of the subject.

    This is hardly surprising as the issue remains rather marginal in terms of party politics and is only fully understood by a handful of specialists. Ten minutes with most party rank and file is usually enough to demonstrate this. Typically the immigration licensing system is criticised for not doing things that it has in fact been doing for years. For example, I have heard SDP members complaining that too many work permits are issued for work that doesn’t pay collective agreement rates. This is simply nonsense. Supporters of the Coalition and Centre parties tend to recommend that asylum seekers should be summarily refused entry. I usually respond to this by asking whether there are any other solemn promises to the international community that Finland should routinely break (how about not paying foreign creditors?), and so on.

    Because there is so little understanding of this topic, it tends to be reduced to vague notions of strictness or laxity that have no specific content. The call for stricter immigration controls always boils down to additional complexities in the permit system that create more work for public officials and meaningless form filling for immigrants (the parallel with the effect of demanding stricter control of social welfare benefits is obvious).

    No political party really wants the fallout from arbitrary restrictions on migration. For example, I don’t see the Coalition party rushing to the media to explain that it insisted on the regulation that currently prevents immigrant families from taking in their elderly grandparents. The Coalition party MPs who were once so keen on this policy have been very quiet about the Eveline Fadayel and Maria Kirbasova cases.

    Public policymaking is hard work that is not advanced one iota by vague calls for a tougher line.

    • Enrique

      Yes, Justice Demon, I should have been more specific but that policy is based on law. Yes it may be true but they do reflect what people think; ie if immigration policy is too strict or lenient.
      The same goes for the survey question if Finland should allow more immigrants. The truth is that few if any countries are saying that they have too few immigrants. So, in essense, it is sort of a dumb question where we know the answer: yes, we have too many immigrants as opposed to too few.