In order to clear up matters, I would like to post what multiculturalism as a social policy is in Canada and Australia. Even though Finland is not officially a multicultural country, its constitution and laws are encourage basically the same values albeit not so passionately. In the Finnish Constitution and Equality Act there is not one mention of the words “multicultural society.”
If we look at the dismal amount of immigrants and refugees as well as high unemployment one can reach only one conclusion: a policy that has failed miserably. Certainly progress has been made: the number of immigrants has risen albeit slowly to 143,256 today from 12,670 in 1981 while unemployment has come down officially from 53% in 1994 to over 20%.
It is surprising that one can hear these days in private conversation from some teachers and people working with immigrants and refugees that some national groups should never be brought to this country because they will never adapt to our way of life. “Why do they continue to bring them here?” some say.
In this week’s Apu magazine (issue 6/2010) there is a feature authored by me on a former Soviet citizen who was caught in 1974 by Finnish border guards and whisked back to the USSR without granting him the right to political asylum. You can read about it in Apu magazine or get some background information in this blog on how Finland’s special relationship with the USSR would not tolerate Soviet refugees.
Juan Bautista Alberdi was one of the greatest social thinkers that Latin America produced in the nineteenth century. If we look at the Argentinean and South America right after these countries gained independence from Spain up to the 1820s, they faced a daunting task: How to build new nations from scratch.
I remember a long time ago reading an editorial by the Buenos Aires Herald on how the military coup of 1976 was able to shut off information lights of Argentina. It argued that since outdated infrastructure such as telephones and telecommunications were in a wretched state, it was easy for the junta leaders to literally turn off the lights and keep the country in an information bubble.
I am very happy how these modest blog has grown from relative obscurity to a platform where almost everyone can put in his/Her views on immigrant issues in Finland.