The upcoming parliamentary elections in Finland can hardly be considered a groundbreaking event in a world where revolutions have become an almost everyday occurrence.

Even within the European Union, the elections would likely pass unnoticed considering the economic problems that many European countries are facing. The near-collapse of Greece and the rotten economies of Portugal, Spain and Ireland are rightfully stealing the attention of the Europeans.

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However, True Finns has emerged as a potential winner of the April election therefore managing to grab the attention of many Europeans. More importantly, the party is the only one of Finland''s top political parties to oppose the possible debt bailout of Portugal. Many within the EU are concerned that a True Finns victory would create a chain reaction across Europe.

The party has managed to break the hermetic and cozy political existence of the top three political parties in Finland. According to one recent poll, True Finns would receive 18.4 per cent of the popular vote, trailing the National Coalition Party by only 2 per cent and thus making the True Finns the second largest party in the country.

In the last parliamentary election in 2007 the three largest parties, the center-right party, National Coalition Party, the center-left option Social Democratic Party and the centrist Centre Party received 66.8 per cent of the total vote.  The rest of the vote was scattered around between the Left Alliance, Christian Democrats, Green League, Swedish People’s Party and True Finns, all receiving 4-9 per cent of the vote respectively.

Except for its left-leaning economic platform, True Finns is a loose member of the European New Right. The party’s cause célèbre is to counter the influence of the European Union. Equally important to the party and its supporters is immigration. Many in Finland look to Sweden and see cities like Malmö and its suburbs being turned into lawless jungles. Such a scenario does not sit well with Finns who are used to serene cities and towns.

However, True Finns is an anomaly on the Finnish political spectrum. The party is divided into several sub-sections and it has become a home for a wide variety of politicos. Its members form a loose alliance of free-marketers, socialists, statists, cultural and economic protectionists. Excluding the antipathy felt towards the EU, True Finns’ foreign policy is still unclear. This is perhaps because its members seem to unite over domestic issues and prefer to focus on flirting with the non-urban electorate which is largely concerned about local issues. 

The Finnish electorate got a glimpse of the True Finns’ chairman, and a prime minister candidate, Timo Soini’s worldview in a recent televised debate during which Soini proclaimed his admiration for the state of Israel. Finns seldom hear such proclamations from leaders of major political parties. It remains to be seen if Soini’s love of Israel will have any impact on his support levels.

True Finns will most likely be the big winner of the April elections, but many are wary of its lack of a clear and well-defined identity. This seems to be a problem among many new European political parties associated with the New Right. For example, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), Geert Wilders, ran on a free market platform, but when elected, pushed for protectionist economic policies. No one really knows what Timo Soini’s Finland will look like and this might scare off many undecided voters.

It''s likely that a True Finns victory will have a significant impact on the country and consequently on the future of the European Union.

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