Will Halla-aho be the PS’ savior or the party’s political grave?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

A while back I asked a friend what would happen if the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* implode as we’ve seen in the polls. What will emerge from the ruin of that xenophobic party? Will we see another party that is more sinister and more dangerous to cultural diversity?

With PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho’s decision to challenge Timo Soini and run for chairman of the party could well mean the birth of an ever-radical anti-immigration party in the same league as the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party.

Will Halla-aho be the lifesaver of the PS’ problems and succeed at bolstering the embattled party’s poll standings? If we read PS politicians like MP Laura Huhtasaari, the Islamophobe with the white kindergarten teacher smile, the answer is a confident yes.

According to her, “Finland needs Perussuomalaiset values, Jussi is a pioneer, a nationalist who defends our rights. He doesn’t vacillate. He’s not afraid of being labeled because he believes in what he says.”

When watching the news about Halla-aho and how the media reports about this MEP, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, it’s amazing to note how much fascination and interest there is in a politician who has built his political career on insulting minorities and spreading racism.

Halla-aho’s decision to run for chairman of the PS is a good example of how the rabid dog on a short leash has come to bite Soini, who gave the rabid dog a platform to grow.

But here’s the big question that Halla-aho, Huhtasaari and other far-right politicians of the PS aren’t asking for obvious reasons: Will voters buy Halla-aho’s vision of the PS that is ultranationalistic, xenophobic, and especially Islamophobic?

The ballot boxes will provide us the answer to that question.

We hope at Migrant Tales that if Halla-aho’s Islamophobic rhetoric helped the PS to become one of the biggest parties in Finland in 2011, he will be the final nail on that party’s political coffin in the next parliamentary elections.

The fact that the PS has broken almost all of its campaign promises and which hasn’t solved but worsened the situation of asylum seekers and migrants in Finland, is a clear indication of the party’s incompetence in solving the country’s many challenges.

Populism always offers simple solutions to complex problems.

That is why parties like the PS will always break their campaign promises and disappoint their voters.

* 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. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”