This is how they influence minds

(Näin muokataan mieliä) Translated by Jasmid Nurmi

82 percent of the citizens support the government’s cutbacks from education, and right to choose regarding the renovation of the social and healthcare networks. Most of the citizens think that social benefits need to be cut down. The vast majority of the population thinks that Sipilä’s government is infallible.

If you saw these kinds of headlines, you wouldn’t believe your eyes. Instead you will believe right away when the minister of internal affairs Paula Risikko presents a study ordered by the government, that shows that the majority of Finns agrees with the government exactly on the position towards asylum seekers. You completely join in the government’s worry according to which the fear of being labeled a racist or overly tolerant prevents proper conversation.

Personally I haven’t to this day met a single racist, who would shy away from voicing their opinions. A racist raves without inhibitions, but gets irrationally angry when their opinion is called racist. Opinions of racists – or perfectly rational people according to themselves – can be read for example from the comments on the Iltalehti-article I linked here. From there it soon becomes apparent, that this country’s government has at least full support from racists.

There it also becomes apparent that racists have taken over published word. Since moderating the comments seem nonexistent, no one who disagrees dares to participate in fear of being labeled too excepting. Because that means death and rape threats, contacts to your workplace, nightly phone calls, getting your family dragged to publicity and for example a dead rat that the family receives in the mail.

So minister of internal affairs Risikko can at will refer for example to the “folk’s discussion” going on in the comment section of Iltalehti. The citizens have spoken.

Let’s now look into that study, which you can read in it’s entirety from this link.In the electric survey there were 1047 participating Finns, who apparently represent all of citizens of Finland. Of the consistency of the group of participants the researchers themselves say this:

The event has been widely advertised for example via adds on papers, e-mails and through social media. People have been free to enter and the final group of participants has been selected so that they form as representative sample as possible from the target audience. The problem in this kind of recruiting of participants however is that through it, the amount of active citizens is highlighted. In addition the group of participants easily becomes homogenic.”

So those who were selected to the study were those who have expansive social networks plus time and willingness to constantly participate in the conversation about the subject. Quoting an unnamed Fb-friend of mine: Who else but racists have endless time and interest to take part in overly enthusiastic, racist conversation about asylum seekers?

The people of Finland has spoken and the government states satisfied that the people agree with them on, for example that there needs to be a network for reporting undocumented individuals, and that the Finnish language needs to be changed so that undocumented can no longer be called undocumented, but are unlawful instead.

The police has already picked this up and thus they are making finig operations and in doing so is violating the centuries old principal of sanctity. The Finland first activists that Risikko met in good faith are patrolling the streets, legally in their own minds, but are in fact practicing vigilante justice and posing as authority figures, looking for targets for citizen’s arrest.

Good going Finland! Death squads composed of drunken upstarts are already on the move, but they are agreeing with the government and the majority after all. Asylum seekers out, say the citizens, it has been studied.

After we run out of asylum seekers only then do we get to read about the study according to which the people are completely on board the government’s cut politics. Those who disagree should not bother to open their mouths, for studies do not lie.

EDIT 

Judging from the comments, the meaning of my article didn’t open to you all. To clarify I was critiquing the study, there are three reasons for it:

  1. The way they chose the participants. All of the participants were members of the panel of online tester’s, so they are used to answering questions regarding consuming habits. I do trust everyone’s basic feelings when it’s about the softness of toilet paper, but not when it’s about the government’s policies on immigration politics.

  2. The layout of the questions. The questions have been laid out in such a way that the desired answer is guaranteed. The desired answer goes along with the government’s immigration policies. If the question had been for example: “Should the asylum seeker whose residence visa has been denied, be deported back to their homelands even if they would probably be killed there?”, the answers would have been different.

  3. The misuse of the results as political tools. The minister of internal affairs Paula Risikko was the first to hurry up and proclaim that government shares the worries of the people and aspires to act accordingly. This is how the basic feelings of the toilet paper tester’s supports the government’s actions.

EDIT 

About the way they chose the participants, here is what one of the researchers for this study has to say:

The sampling of the public inquiry is described in detail on chapter 2.2 of the report. The sampling of the public forums on the other hand id described on chapter 2.3.1. Here’s what you have written on your blog:

““The event has been widely advertised for example via adds on papers, e-mails and through social media. People have been free to enter and the final group of participants has been selected so that they form as representative sample as possible from the target audience. The problem in this kind of recruiting of participants however is that through it, the amount of active citizens is highlighted. In addition the group of participants easily becomes homogenic.””

The snippet of text you took is from page 16, on which we write about the challenges in getting as heterogenic or diverse group of participants as possible. Unlike you imply, that snippet has nothing to do with the inquiry in question. Neither does it directly relate to the public forums we have implemented. Due to the challenges we experienced earlier, this time we executed the sampling of the participants on public forums differently (see chapter 2.3.1) For example in the influencing cafe regarding the human rights of the asylum seekers that we put into practice, the group of participants was very homogenic due to the way it was marketed (see report’s footnote 16). This time the goal was to get a more varied group of participants and we succeeded in doing that (see chart 5).