Last week, Yle News ran a debate in English involving political candidates across Finnish political parties.
I applaud the mainstream media’s initiative to conduct a debate in English with the intention of increasing the accessibility and inclusivity of politics to immigrants.
Having said that however, it does come across as a surprise as to how current debate has relegated to such a low level of intellectual discourse, evidenced by how Yle anchored the following topic:
Word-by-word QUOTE from the YLE video caption:
“Finns Party candidate Erlin Yang says that it’s “totally wrong” to say that his party is anti-immigrant.”
Of course The Finns Party–represented by an immigrant Erlin Yang himself– is “totally not” against immigration. Why is there a need to delegate such precious debate time to addressing such a silly anchor?
What The Finns Party is against is uncontrolled immigration.
Because I personally am tired of the Finns Party being misprepresented, I have taken the liberty to translate Mr. Erlin Yang’s stance into English. Also, translation does not mean endorsement. I am personally voting for the Greens Party.
Here is what Mr. Erlin Yang said, which I felt is an accurate official position of The Finns Party:
“The Finns Party is a political party which aims to serve and represent the working class in Finland. It officially espouses the following values:
1. To increase the employment rate in Finland;
2. To foster a healthy start-up scene and to promote entrepreneurship in Finland;
3. To advocate for the development of Finnish culture;
4. To secure the economic security of Finland and therefore enhance the well-being of every resident;
5. To insist on fair wages;
6. To protect the interests of minority and vulnerable groups in Finland;
7. To promote the health of children and ensure safety in schools;
8. To guarantee a high quality and accessibility of basic services to elder citizens and retirees, so that they can enjoy their retirement with dignity.
Related to immigration, the Finns Party is FOR immigration into Finland under one or more of the following reasonable conditions:
1. For the purposes of professional work;
2. For the purposes of studies;
3. For the purposes of reunion with family.
The Finns Party is against immigrants who are insistent on coming to Finland to exploit the Finnish welfare system. In particular, it is staunchly against immigrants who are involved with human trafficking, drugs dealing and “refugees” who insist on staying in Finland illegally.
The justification is because this latter group is considered net-takers to the Finnish welfare state. Furthermore, this group threatens the very social fabric of Finnish society.
Erlin Yang agrees with the basic tenets that underlie the vision and mission of the Finns party.
As a Chinese immigrant to Finland himself, he greatly respects the Finnish way of life and values. Erlin Yang considers it his personal calling to contribute to the betterment of Finnish society by encouraging more meaningful interactions between legal immigrants and natives. He strongly believes that immigrants and natives can work together to achieve a more prosperous, cohesive and harmonious Finnish society.
Erlin Yang admits that there might have been some members of the Finns Party who previously made controversial and provocative statements targeted at immigrants, in particular refugees. He stresses however, that this is not the official stance of the Finns Party and that these members are in the rare minority.
Here, Erlin Yang attests to the fact that he has never once faced discrimination within his party. On the contrary, he has received overwhelming support from fellow party members who wish for immigrants to be represented.
Against this context, The Finns Party does not necessarily encourage “multiculturalism”—undoubtedly a sensitive term in Europe these days.
As one viable alternative to “multiculturalism”, he stresses that the will to integrate is key to maintaining a harmonious society. From the current situation, Erlin observes that not all immigrants have demonstrated this desire to integrate.
All in all, Erlin Yang concludes by purporting the view that it is only logical, humane and essential that a country accepts new immigrants along principles of common values.
These values include the pursuit of freedom, the desire for progress, principled virtues of loyalty and integrity, and the willingness to work hard.
Erlin emphasized that it is ideal for immigrants to adapt proactively to the ways of the locals and respect local traditions, people and cultures.”
So please agree and disagree to official positions, not what you THINK the official position is. -.- And please do not sensationalise political topics unnecessarily.