Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Eek! Eek! People elected the wrong candidates!"

The municipal election is over. Congratulations to Jussi Halla-aho, and everyone else whom I wanted to win and who won.

It is probably a law of nature that after an election the winners loudly declare that The People Have Spoken, and the losers try to come up with polite ways of saying that the people were mistaken, brainwashed or simply damn stupid. This is especially the case when the winners happen to be elitist (appeal to the people who earn more than the journalists) or populist (appeal to the people whom journalists consider lower-class but who still earn more than the journalists).

The keyword, however, is "polite". Helsingin Sanomat's reaction at first was anything but. Then somebody more sensible woke up.

I understand HS's shock when Jussi Halla-aho, who is just a guy with a blog who criticizes the current immigration policies, gets 2916 votes, and Astrid Thors, the actual immigration minister, gets 2450. This is no reason to call him an opponent of immigrants (they fixed that later), or to wring hands and wonder what went wrong and what kind of bad things happened to people that they want to vote for Halla-aho. Maybe they should rather read his writings, he's been writing for a while now about the bad things that have been happening.

On a lighter and snarkier note: in all my years in Finland there has been only one person who refused to talk to me on account of me being a foreigner, and it certainly wasn't Jussi.

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