Some claim that Finland is at an important juncture concerning immigration and its role in our society. There are already clear signs that the Finns want to deal with this challenge in a civil manner without the usual dose of fearmongering and nationalistic bravado.
With the April 2011 election approaching, parties in Finland are feverishly searching for ways to lure voters. One campaign issue that has the ability to move voters and inflame passions are immigrants and immigration to Finland. I personally feel that Finns are not going to be led by rhetoric and false arguments.
If you want to look for some of the mentors of the Social Democratic Party’s anti-immigration wing, MP Kari Rajamäki is one of them. Contrary to MP Eero Heinäluoma and SDP chairperson, Jutta Urpilainen, Rajamäki has always seen immigration as threat with so gusto that he could well be a member of a more nationalist party like the True Finns.
Every society has its racists but the question is where we draw the line. For a country like Finland, the problem of drawing a clear line hinges on that there are so few immigrant and ethnic groups that moved to this country from the second half of last century.
Some claim that one should forgive some Finns for their outrageous statements on immigrants and refugees since they are fuelled by ignorance. If there are serious shortcomings in our immigration and integration policy it can be blamed on our lack of experience.