I am certain that I am not the only one whose blood boils every time a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* politician makes a racist statement about migration, cultural diversity, minorities, and the EU. In light of the June municipal election, the PS’ result was a disappointment for the party even if they improved their result by 5.6 percentage points from the previous election in 2017.
While some opinion polls put the PS as much as 19% of the vote, they could only muster 14.5% in the last election.
The election was not only a big disappointment for the PS, but it shows that their campaign message lacked appeal among voters.
Despite the setback, the PS has ratchet up their Islamophobic, ultranationalistic and anti-EU message. Like raw meat thrown at hungry wolves, they believe this is the best way to get votes.
Their own rhetoric will do a lot of harm and dash many of their hopes. Their rhetoric is like a tinderbox that can explode in their faces at any time with varying intensity.
As the PS veers further to the far right under its chairperson Jussi Halla-aho, first vice president Riikka Purra, and party secretary Simo Gröroos, its message has also become more threatening.
In his cockiness fueled by opinion polls, Halla-aho targetted earlier this year the Center Party and hoped to steal more votes from them in the countryside.
Considering that the Center Party has been doing poorly in the polls, it came in third place in the municipal election beating the PS.
Heir-apparent Purra, who is the favorite to take over from Halla-aho, is showing the same type of conceit by suggesting that they will win the forthcoming parliamentary elections in 2023. As prime minister, she will only be a partner in a government that tightens immigration policy.
“If it’s up to me, the Perussuomalaiset will never form part of a government that won’t tighten significantly Finnish immigration policy,” she was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat.
And then there is Grönroos, an ethnonationalist and far-right Suomen Sisu member, spearheading and orchestrating the PS’ xenophobic message to voters.
The PS will hold its annual meeting in August. While Halla-aho is stepping down as chairperson, Grönroos is seeking a second term as party secretary.
Perosnally, his views are reproachable. We still hope he wing for a victory for him is a victory for the anti-racism movement of Finland.