Finnish parliamentary election a slight disappointment

Photo by Daniel Mohr

Finland had the parliamentary election a week ago and it have been all over the news. I don’t mean just national papers, but also abroad. The third biggest party is now the True Finns and even I am truly a Finnish person, I can’t agree with some of the party’s values.

I believe in multicultural and tolerant Finland. From what I have read True Finns  are too conservative and narrow-minded for me. They want strict limits on humanitarian immigration and object gender-neutral marriage. Last Monday, just after counting the votes, my Facebook News Feed was full of status updates from my friends who also weren’t too happy with the results.

My friend living in Malta wrote that things still aren’t as bad as in Malta where they are still negotiating should divorce be made legal or not. And I continued, that it sure is much better than in China where the only choice is the Communist Party.

Sure there are benefits of having just a one party to rule. It’s fast and easy to make decisions when no one is objecting. Finnish people are sometimes complaining about our parliamentarians, because they just talk and nothing happens. But the downside of having just one party, one opinion, is that things  can also go terribly wrong very fast.

I do believe that nothing too damaging is going to happen in Finland for the next four years. True Finns got a huge victory in the election, but they are not alone in the parliament. It does feel like a step in the wrong direction, but right now it is too early to say what will eventually happen.

I must add that I don’t follow politics too closely. There is a lot that I don’t know and therefore I’m not the best person to introduce Finnish governance and politics to you. But this post is an opinion of an ordinary Finnish person, opinion that many of my friends share.

Finnish people living abroad are able to vote at Finland’s embassies and consulates around the world. I also did my civic duty earlier this month, but unfortunately my candidate didn’t get enough votes. I hope he will try again in the next election four years later.

But before that there is presidential election next year.

  • Someone

    I think it’s only natural for people to vote to close off their borders when they feel threatened. I see many parallels with Finland and say Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands in terms of anti-immigrant isolationalist Euroskeptic parties gaining power.

    Has Finland been hit hard by the recent economic downturn? Is there a lot of unemployment? When people are disgruntled like that, they don’t look kindly on immigrants “taking their jobs”, not learning the language, and failing to integrate.

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    Sara Reply:

    I think in Finland people are easily complaining about imigrants taking their jobs, but in reality they wouldn’t even do those jobs themselves. Like cleaning or similar low paid jobs. In Finland people are also complaining that foreigners only come to Finland because of the welfare and free money, but don’t realize that it isn’t that simple to come here. Atleast few years back the umemployment used to be quite severe, but unfortunately I haven’t been following the news that well and can’t say much about the current situation.

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  • I think when the economy is bad, everyone wants an escape goat and “conservatives” generally make a come back. It’s the same here in the U.S. and I really don’t like it. Not that I have much faith left in the Democrats, I just disagree more with the Republicans.

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    Sara Reply:

    It’s interesting to learn that similar things are happening in other countries too. That helps me to understand what is happening in Finland and why Finnish people voted like they voted.

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  • lzq3311

    Moi!Sara. I follow your blog for few days.I’m a Chinese girl who is studying in Finland. This is my last year and I already stay in Finland almost 2 years. Last week in our media course, our teacher discussed about this election with us and most of my Finnish classmates support true Finns. The teacher asked me and I just said policies changed with different situations and different periods. As you said we only have one party in China, it’s true and many Chinese people hate it but we have no choice because we have quite unique situation and background, leading such huge population never easy. Anyway, I just want they will become better and better for both China and Finland. Have a nice time in China!

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    Sara Reply:

    Moi! (That’s hi in Finnish) So interesting to hear from a Chinese student studying in Finland! Have you enjoyed your time in here?

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  • C

    Hi Sara,
    it’s not just Finland who is tightening on immigration for the fear it might dilute or dissolve their existing culture. Look at Saudi arabia wants to preserve their culture and way of living as long as it can…so Saudi Arabia doesn’t just let any one live there or visit there unless you’re a muslim or a female foreigner accompanied by a man(muslim too?) So in my opinion, whatever is happening politically in Finland is not as bad as what’s happening in religious countries. I can’t blame these things for happening when people spawn offsprings faster than flies are bred in some countries maybe it’s due to their culture of dependency or religious practice. so blame it on overpopulation for the tight rules and discrimination :)

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    Sara Reply:

    You are right C, things in Finland seem much better when compared to some other countries. Sometimes we should cherish what we already have, but it also shouldn’t stop us improving further.

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