esmaspäev, juuli 04, 2005
The Next Estonian President
In some countries, the head of state is a BS position - tailored for those who like to lunch with the sultan of Brunei, but have little power over anything else. Who, for example, is the president of Italy? We all know the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, but the president (Carlo Ciampi), is irrelevant. Other countries, though, have quite strong executives. South of Estonia, in Latvia, lives Vaira Vike Freiberga, an internationally-known and semi-capable executive. North of the Gulf of Finland, is Tarja Halonen, who isn't the most famous woman in the world, but is an able-bodied executive as well. In Estonia, however, it appears as if President Ruutel is more of a Ciampi, than a Chirac. "Meie Arnold" has a certain grandfatherly grace that makes him a fit executive. But as things get more complicated sometimes it makes one pine for the days when the president was Lennart Meri, a filmmaker, writer, and English-speaking leader who could connect with any listener, from San Francisco to Johannesburg.
That's why when Arnold steps down and retires to study agriculture on his home island of Saaremaa, Estonia will need a new executive who isn't a shy, old grandfather, but a self-promoting lion of the republic that will be able to share the stage with Vlad Putin, and represent the people of Estonia.
Drawing up a short list some names came to mind of who will succeed Arnold when he finishes his term. It could be Mart Laar, of Isamaalit, but maybe he's too controversial and not diplomatic enough. It could be Toomas Hendrick Ilves, because he is a fairly good diplomat and is well-connected. Plus he likes to wear a bow-tie, which will distinguish him to the West as a sort of Baltic Tucker Carlson.
But my pick for the next president of Estonia is an athlete. Someone who can communicate well in English and who woudl win the election hands down. He is only 30 years old, but he would be the perfect representative of Noor Eesti.While it may appear funny now, if Estonian race car driver Markko Martin was to hang up his helmet and try his hand at politics, he might be the perfect candidate. So when Putin goes on the national stage and says something idiotic, Martin would be right behind him with a quick comeback. Estonia needs a youthful fighter to lead the republic. And I am sure that there's plenty of room at Kadriorg for Martin's sports cars.