The Finnish parliamentary election has been held, the international election surveillance assembly stated the election was honest and no cheating was detected, and the Finnish democracy has spoken. Finland follows the d'Hondt relative vote system, which usually leads into a tripartite house where two largest parties form the cabinet along with fringe groups and one party forms the opposition.
The electionary results were a surprise to many - nasty to some and pleasant to others, but first and foremost they were a protest. The Finnish nation protested against the current policy - the centrist-rightist policy. They did not vote for something else, but against what was currently going on. It was like the whole nation yelling stop this roller-coaster, I am feeling nauseous and I want to get out.
The grand victor of the elections was the Perussuomalaiset (True Finns) party, which gained a landslide victory - 39 representatives as it previously had 5, almost octupling its representatives.
What is this True Finns party? Is it an extremist right party, as some foreign media have suggested, or is it some kind of a Fascist movement - or a Nationalist-Chauvinist clique?
First, the very name Perussuomalaiset is utterly difficult to translate to English. The prefix perus- implies "the basic or fundamental essence of which the construction is made of". It may denote "true" in the sense or "true/counterfeit", but the same prefix may also denote "basic", "fundamental", "trivial", "simple", "conventional", "usual" or "ordinary". Perhaps "Usual Finns" might be the preferable English translation over "True Finns" as "Trivial Finns" would not do really the right to the doctors, lawyers, engineers and civil servants amongst their ranks, "Elementary Finns" would be too pompous and "Basic Finns" too trivializing.
Implying colloquially someone is perussuomalainen is approximately the same as implying someone is the Joe or Jane Average.
Perhaps the best description for the party would be calling it a populist conservative party. The True Finns are not an extremist right party neither in Fascistoid nor in Libertarianist sense. They are neither an Ultra-Nationalist party, as they do have several immigrants amongst their ranks. Nor they are a Chauvinist party. They sit in the Parliament between the Center Party and the Social Democrats. Should we apply the Political Compass map, they would score slightly left but very close the axis on Right-Left axis, and slightly below the origo on the Authoritarian-Libertarian axis. They are Conservative, but not anti-Liberal; rather they are anti-Radical.
Being a Populist Conservative movement, it is easier to say what the True Finns are against than what they stand for. Either the True Finns follow the good old Sun Tzu maxim keep your opponents in complete confusion of your plans or they have no coherent policy but represent mere anti-ism.
Why the True Finns phenomenon? Why the conservative backlash?
The reason is simple. The Fourfield of Repulsion consists of the axes "benevolent-malevolent" and "active-passive" where benevolent and active represents cluelessness, malevolent and passive stupidity, benevolent and active fanaticism and malevolent and active evil, and while the Finnish leaders haven't been outright evil, they have been both stupid and clueless. The Finnish leaders have proved to locate in the worst quadrant of the von Manstein matrix - hard-working and stupid. The result has been a policy which has been both stupid and clueless and pretty much everyone has felt cheated. Both the traditional Left and the traditional Right have cheated and abandoned their support groups; Left has abandoned the working class and has become a shamelessly elitistic clique fraternizing with various pedigree underdog fringe groups (Feminists, immigrants, sexual minorities, university students) while the Right has abandoned the traditional basic values - home, faith, Fatherland - and has become a conspiracy which knows price for everything and value for nothing and whose intention is to sell Finland by kilo to the first bidder on offered price.
Most of all, the small guy - Joe Average - feels he has been screwed.
The dissent has been brewing amongst the Joe and Jane Average since the 1990s depression. The social security, which has been the pride of the Scandinavian nations, has been demolished bit by bit. The working life has grown worse - Finland basically has reverted back to Czarist era labour legislature as the judicial status of the labour and the labour contracts have slowly eroded. Burn-outs and outright abuses of the legislature are commonplace. The deconstruction of the judicial safety of the labour contracts has not made it easier for the corporations to hire people, as it was estimated; on the contrary, it has only made it easier to fire people, and should a multinational company go downsizing, the first to sack is always the Finnish deparment as it is easiest here.
Likewise, the status of the honest poor has eroded slowly. The bread lines have come to stay. There were no bread lines in the 1960s and 1970s, but they do exist 2011. The rich have become filthy rich and the poor dirt poor. People do today die in Finland from starvation - something which was unthinkable even during the WWII. The most plausible way to those who have fallen through all the safety nets to guarantee the living for tomorrow is to commit some grave crime and to hope to become imprisoned - at least there is meal in prison three times a day.
The immigration policy has so far been completely clueless - and reckless. Almost anyone willing has been let in. The result has been social shopping - people immigrate to abuse the social security, the international refugee agreements, the Red Cross, and the result has been a permanent pampered underclass which shamelessly abuses the Finnish social security - the undesired immigration has exploded in hands. The desired immigration - attraction of skilled professionals who'd move here and work here and pay taxes - has failed miserably. Likewise, criticizing Islam and claiming aloud it is a barbaric, retarded and sexist religion whose aim is world domination, overthrow of Western democracy and clerical totalitarianism, has been a strict no-no.
Finns are used to harsh and heavy rulers and oppressive legislature and taxes - as long as they have been legitimate and as long it has been practised for the common good. But there is a certain limit on oppressive legislature, harsh rule, arbitrary justice and insane taxes, and the planned bailout plan of the PIGS countries, especially that of Portugal, was the straw which broke the camel's back.
The Joe Average has said: Enough! and blown his whistle.
Finns can stand their social security system demolished bit by bit. They can stand their status as employees slowly demoted to that of a serf. They can stand a completely arbitrary justice system. They can stand themselves becoming second class citizens in their own country. They can stand their national property being sold to the lowest bidder. They can stand bread lines and deaths from starvation. They can stand being male criminalized. They can stand conscription and they can stand rich getting filthy rich, poor getting dirt poor and middle class getting nowhere. They can stand their jobs being outsourced to China or India. But what they cannot stand is that they should pay the cheats and failure of Southern European countries on keeping their economy par to that of the rest of the European Union.
The Communists lied about Communism, but told the truth about Capitalism. That is another thing which really has pissed the Joe Average off. And Finns being the Autistic square-heads of the European Union with no sense of humour on economy, the anger has really erupted now on.
The True Finns are not a hate group. They are just another Populist Conservative party. They represent the same set of values the Joe Average represents. They have annexed the memetic niche which the Left has abandoned - being the ombudsman of the ordinary tax-paying working citizen.
The True Finns are not a Xenophobic party. They rather insist clue and common sense on the immigration policy; keep the undesired immigrants off the country loading the social security system and get the desired immigrants in. Many True Finns themselves, like Freddy van Wonterghem, are first or second generation immigrants.
The True Finns are not a Chauvinist party. While they are a Nationalist group, they usually relate to EU with certain benevolence. What they do insist is that EU should be a coalition of independent states, not a confederated empire.
The True Finns are not an anti-Liberal party. They are anti-Radical party. They insist on evolution, not revolution. Many True Finns are simply fed up on how the traditional liberties - free speech, free expression, freedom to worship, freedom to bear arms - have been slowly narrowed and taken away.
The True Finns are not a Reactionary party. They rather insist curbing off unnecessary and unjust privileges and special treatment - being they based on language, sex, religion, sexual orientation, skin colour or whatever. They insist everyone should be treated on the same way.
The True Finns are not a Papal conspiracy. While their charismatic leader Timo Soini is indeed a Roman Catholic and has a Catholic set of values, they do not insist idolatry, abolition of abortion and divorce, counter-Reformation or Guelphian style of regime on Finland. They are a bunch of individual Joe and Jane Averages having Joe and Jane Average Weltanschaung and opinions.
Of more than anything else, the results of the vote imply the ill-feeling and the disappointment of the Joe and Jane Average. They simply do not want to continue on the way the Center Party, Greens and National Coalition has showed them. They perceive it as a way into a complete catastrophe - both on economic, cultural and national level. They just want to preserve what preservable is - what they and their foreparents have once built, and develop future on that basis.
All in all, Finns are simply fed up. They are fed up both of the treason of the Left - how the Left has abandoned the small guy and has become a shamelessly Elitistic clique - and of the treason of the Right - how the Right has abandoned its values and become a conspiracy of faceless capitalism which knows value for nothing and price for everything. It can be safely claimed the Finns do not know what they want but they know they do not want. And they know how to get it.
We live in quite interesting times.