What will the April 2015 elections of Finland reveal about ourselves as a country?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

It’s clear that the parliamentary elections of April 2015 in Finland will reveal a lot of matters about this country. In many respects it’s like strip tease joint where women or men, disguised as political parties, take off their clothes. Sexuality isn’t being shown in bare flesh but in political ideologies such as racism, whiteness, anti-cultural diversity, anti-EU and nostalgia of a Finland that only existed in our imagination. 

The anti-immigration, far-right and populist winds blowing over Europe should concern us. But it is a good sign as well that there is a lot of opposition, thanks to social media, against such social ills. Pulling a 1933 political stunt on a country could be more difficult today than over eighty years ago, when Nazi Germany came into being.

As April 19 nears in Finland, it’s clear that anti-immigration voices are getting louder and more hostile. Should it surprise us then that the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* which claims to have sacked all of its racists and fascists, is leading the charge on this front?

Finland’s darkest political period in this century (2011-15) could be seen in the same light as the half-a-century old rants made by USAmerican racists of the South. What these Finnish politicians say today will make their great grandchildren’s faces turn red with shame. Racists always look ugly as time unmasks their lies.

Näyttökuva 2014-10-3 kello 13.37.31

There’s a very good column on City by Taneli Hämäläinen that summarizes, in my opinion, the way PS politicians switch the argument around. We’ve seen this on Migrant Tales on a number of occasions used by far-right anti-immigration voices. It’s like claiming that the Jews unleashed the Holocaust and the Nazis were their victims.

The issue is not asking how racist a country like Finland is, even though this is an important question, but what is our response as a society to such a social ill.  Is there a response? If so, is it effective? If not, why?

You don’t have to be black or a member of an ethnic minority to understand how insulting and lowly some politicians will act to get votes and feed their narcism in the process.

But let’s go back to the main question of this posting: What will the April 2015 elections of Finland reveal about ourselves as a country?

It will reveal two things: If racism and fascism (1) are are growing or on the defensive.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.

(1) Tiina Rosenberg gives a good definition of fascism as a political ideology that want to exclude other groups. The aim of fascism in Nazi Germany was based on an argument that they had to kick out and/or exterminate other minorities like the Jews, Roma and their political enemies in order to become a super race.  Nazi war criminal Alfred Rosenberg, who was sentenced and hanged for war crimes, is a good example of this type of ideology. He writes about it in The myth of the twentieth century.