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When true Finnish poll raises questions
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-07-19 09:38:12
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Another poll saw the Finnish media the last few days attracting the usual spotlights and one more time I have to express my scepticism for how they contact those surveys and about their timing. Actually I found the timing suspicious. The survey had to do with what the Finns would vote if we had elections today giving over 10% to the prejudice and racist in the closet extreme right-wing bringing it in the fourth place. Naturally the media went bizarre.

Finns are the short of people who love stats and surveys and there is no day in the media you will not see a new survey coming out for the weirdest things you can imagine. I suppose this part of the Finnish psychic like the weird sports – who can throw further a mobile in the lake!

Most of those are telephone surveys and happen during the day hours which means that the majority of people who participate don’t work - students, pensioners, unemployed for example – I find it difficult to see somebody working and answering a survey for nearly fifteen minutes in a busy office. Oddly the very same group of people are the ones who major the percent of the people who don’t bother to vote when the election day comes.

Then it is this damn “if”. People have totally different reactions in front the poll from a survey telephone call. When they are in front the actual voting booth they fill the weight and the responsibility their democratic obligation lays on them and in a survey they might say that they would vote extreme right if elections happened today but they will react in a totally different way when the actual time comes. Especially a nation that prides its tolerance and would never like to spoil the outside image the world has for them. And Finns care too much for the outside image. It is part of their national identity.

And before we get to the timing lets see the presentences. According the news in this survey the ruling the coalition government conservative Centre Party (Keskusta) has increased its power by 0.5%, the Christian Democrats and Swedish People’s Party have increased their power to 0.3% and the opposition conservative party National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) has increased its power by 1.1% keeping strongly the first place in the latest polls.

From the other side the other big partner in the coalition government, the Social Democrats (SDP) lost 0.6% and the Green League (a travesty environmental party that was ready to sacrifice the foundations of a green party for two ministerial seats) lost 1.1%. So where this rise came from? Please don’t tell me that it came from the socialists and the people confused Socialism with National Socialism!

“Analysts” believe that the extreme right-wing party, True Finns saw an upswing in support after the government approved a bailout plan for Greece. So let me see, they are not going to ask for help now Finland is following the very same track with Greece and has already got a warning from EU last week about the national debt? And what about the money the long suffering Finnish agriculture got from EU including Greece, last week; are they going to return them? But this has to do with the misinformation of the people and populist politics and definitely nothing to do with this survey.

So last it comes the timing. Finland is heading for national elections next year, for a very long campaign shadowed by suspicions for economic scandals that have reached the Prime Minister’s door, at least the former Prime Minister’s door. After all this is the reason Matti Vanhanen resigned last month, to clear his name and reputation. Most likely the man is innocent but the shadows are there and somebody is guilty since there was proven money exchange that ended up in party campaign funds. I presume the justice is already working on it. But do these things lead the people away or parties need a bogeyman that will colligate them before a long and dirty campaign as I said before? That’s what makes the timing suspicious. Because it is conveniently far from the Election Day and in time for the long campaign. And be sure that this talk will last for weeks making people feel the bogeyman’s breathe very close. We’ve seen this before in many European nations the last decades.

Coming now to the True Finns, I have said it before; I think in other countries only their name – obvious prejudice declaration - would have called for an investigation for violating the constitution but … in the name of democracy …

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Rebelle2010-08-09 08:39:23
Extreme right-wing? On what planet?

You don't have to like True Finns, nor have I personally voted for them, but to call them extreme right-wing racist party is beyond absurd. They're rather left-leaning and moderately conservative, far from any kind of right-wing extremist's dream party. If you want right-wing, try National Coalition Party, Swedish People's Party, Christian Democrats or hell - even the Centre at times. Out of the parties mentioned, Christian democrats are also more conservative, Coalition and Centre parties probably equal with True Finns in this regard. Wow, plenty of right-wing extremism we must have then?!

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