Sunday, June 20, 2010

The common voice of every right-thinking immigrant

An immigrant parliament is being founded in Finland, by Alexis Kouros, Umayya Abu-Hanna and a bunch of other professional multiculturalists. The idea is to have all the immigrants vote for the parliament, and have the parliament give advice to the officials and the lawmakers and propose new laws.

(Wait a minute! Propose new laws? Only the government and the MPs can propose new laws. I hope they mean "lobby for the new laws" or something.)

The new organ does not, thank God for small favors, have any financing yet. They are thinking of living off immigrants' own donations, and maybe asking the state and EU for money.

Judging from the reactions on the English-speaking and Russian-speaking immigrant forums, the immigrant donations will be just enough to buy them some coffee - if they already have a coffee machine.

As an immigrant and a Finnish citizen, my second thought was "why do I need their parliament when I can vote for the real one?". (The first thought was rather unprintable.) The immigrant parliament is supposed to represent non-citizens as well. I think that there is a very good reason why we don't let non-citizens vote on the matters of state. Surprisingly enough most non-citizens with whom I have ever discussed it understand those reasons pretty well.

The new parliament-to-be has a webpage already. There Kouros tries to explain the idea.

According to him the idea of the parliament is to give a common voice to all immigrants. The real parliament doesn't serve this purpose, because only a few immigrants can get elected and they are not necessarily the right-thinking kind of people.

Here is what he says: "Even if we had a few immigrant candidates in the parliament, that would not solve the problem of an absent, unified immigrant voice. MPs are elected by a general vote, which means that most probably the vote of the Finnish community determines who is elected."

Yeah, Mr. Kouros, the majority determines who gets elected. This is, like, the idea of democracy. And the absence of the unified voice of the immigrant community just might mean that the immigrant community does not have a fucking unified voice.

Seriously - what does the immigrant community have in common with each other? I don't even mean that some are Somalis, and some are Russians and some are Americans and some have come to work and some have come as refugees. I mean that I don't even have any voting issues in common even with my own group, the Americans who came here to work. What do we have in common to vote for? A right-wing American will vote for the right, a left-wing for the left, an environmentalist just might vote for the Greens, or maybe not, a person concerned about Islamism might vote for Perussuomalaiset or for Muutos 2011, and an American who has moved to rural Finland just might - gasp - vote for Keskusta.

Besides, the tone of Kouros's interview ("in a worst-case scenario, an anti-immigrant person, with an immigrant background may be elected") suggests that the common voice his is looking for specifically doesn't include the common voice of the immigrants who'd vote for Perussuomalaiset or for Muutos 2011.

Kouros and the other bullshit artists are not very specific as to who can vote. They say that they are trying to be as inclusive as possible, including the actual immigrants, the people at least one of whose parents was an immigrant, and people adopted from abroad. Kouros expresses hope that only the people who see themselves as immigrants will vote; Abu-Hanna says that the immigrant identity is the most important thing.

Yes, great idea: choose your voters based on how they feel about themselves and their place in the Finnish society. Then tell everyone else that they represent all the immigrants.

As an aside: how are they going to find out who has immigrant parents and who doesn't? If they can get that kind of information out of the population register, it's a bigger problem than their whole parliament.

Kouros feels that he has not been accepted as a Finn during the 20 years he's lived in Finland. If I were mean (and I obviously am) I'd say that getting a real job would be a step in the right direction.

When asked about how would the Finnish community react to this parliament, Kouros gets a bit aggressive:

"I am sure that there will be some sectors of society that will not like this project, but those are the people who don’t want immigrants to exist at all. In general, I am certain that it will be well received and appreciated."

Well, thanks for telling me how I feel about my own existence, and all those other folks on the immigrant forums as well. So far as I have seen the immigrants are in fact the sector of society who like this parliament idea the least.


Veikko Suvanto said...

Besides, the tone of Kouros's interview ("in a worst-case scenario, an anti-immigrant person, with an immigrant background may be elected") suggests that the common voice his is looking for specifically doesn't include the common voice of the immigrants who'd vote for Perussuomalaiset or for Muutos 2011.

As a firm believer in Freudian slips, I couldn't help noticing that Kouros shifts from his usual PC "he or she" to a mere "he" in the sentence immediately following the one you quoted ("This person could attack the immigrant community and still be protected because of his ethnic background"), suggesting that he might even have some particular candidate of the parties you mentioned in mind... :-)

Lotta Roti said...

"unified immigrant voice"

That says all, really.

Unknown said...

We have created a petition against this project:

Petition is in both, finnish and russian languages, so everybody speaking these languages can sign it. The petition is therefore not only for russian community in Finland, but for everyone sharing the same feelings.


Vera said...

Veikko: heh, I didn̈́'t even notice the Freudian slip.

Lotta: yes, it does. :(

Dmitri: thanks! I signed it.

Anonymous said...

I think the best is to leave Finland if you don't have a proper job there. Here is why:

1. You become frustrated with the host society because you feel they treat you second class because they won't give you a job.

2. Learning Finnish takes for many ages. Why should a company hire somebody with an accent if there is somebody who can speak on a native level if it is related to local Customer Service?

3. There are not many companies where the corporate language is English.

4. There are as good as no jobs where foreign languages could be useful.

6. Cost of living is lower in other countries.

Toukka said...

Just for the fun of it, let's guess who could these dreaded "worst-case scenario anti-immigrant immigrants" be?

Iivi Anna Masso and Freddy Van Wonterghem for sure - their pigmentation reveals their non-unified immigrant mentality - but who else? Ben Zyskowicz? Oops, he already is in the other, non-representative parliament...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Part-time blue collar said...

I tip my hat to you, Vera and Dmitri.

There seems to have been a bit of a rush recently to appoint oneself as some sort of voice of some cause, without asking for the approval of your supposed flock.

A certain extreme leftist politician (of the "abolish all borders" sort too, no less!) "showed his support" to the recent food workers' strike by attaching stickers to some breads in stores, therefore making them unsellable. I am a card carrying member of the food workers' union, and I sure didn't ask that moron to speak for me.

I find these publicity stunts by professional politicians really disgusting and cynical. Come and do some real work for a change!