teisipäev, august 29, 2006

Ilves

Well folks, today is the day that Toomas-Hendrik Ilves, the man that sold Estonia as "the world's only post-communist Nordic country", gets his 64 votes from the Riigikogu. Like Oliver Twist, Ilves will look up and say, "Please sir, may I have some more?" But most likely there will be none.

The greatest criticisms of Ilves are that he is arrogant and he was raised in the US. He therefore does not "know" rural Estonia although he lives there with his wife and children. That very well may be. But it is also true that over the past five years, Arnold Rüütel has remained mostly invisible on an international level. When he speaks he says little, if he can be bothered to speak at all.

In reality he hasn't even campaigned for office this year. He has sat there as useful vanilla, void of any flavor. Rüütel is smarter than he comes across and I think his patient hand has been useful at times. But why should he now be chosen over someone that has actively campaigned for the position and enjoys the majority of popular support? That is baffling to anyone acquainted with reason.

Maybe some of the boys at Keskerakond will defect today. Or maybe the valimiskogu will be so disgusted with Savisaar and Reiljan that they will reject their nominee. Not to sound optimistic - we all know that in days like these it is best to suppress optimism about the future of the Estonian presidency - but this is not yet a done deal.

39 kommentaari:

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

Well, as of today both Reljan and Savisaar explained that their corresponding parties' deputies weren't present out of fear of beeing bought up by the evil Res Publica and Reformierakond. This made me think - how much is it for 3 saadiks today? I was just looking at my bank account. Not too good at the moment. I know they are expensive. Maybe even thousand bucks a piece?

luize ütles ...

Paljud asjad, mida Ilvesele ette heidetakse on umbes sama jaburad nagu Ameerikas räägiti sellest, et John Kerry on "too french".

Anonüümne ütles ...

Teile meeldiks USA president, kes räägib inglise keelt nagu mõni püüdlik Mehhiko immigrant?

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Estonia has 1,4 Million people. Some 100 000 Millions are living around. This makes a different. You can ignore it: Take Rüütel! Do you know what the problem was in 1939? Hidden and secret politics, no public, no discussion what happened to the Estonian delegation in Moskva. Everything was done and the public could passively react to the exodus of the Germans, to the occupation etc.. Estonian paid a high price also for the ignorance of their own politicians. There were no international interests in Estonia. O.k. it is not 1939. But maybe it will change. O.k. It's good to care for the Estonian hinterland, but times can change.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

What I'm talking about? Here some text woth to read from Ilves.
quote:
However, not everything went smoothly when the Estonian foreign minister went on a official visit to Germany in February 1997, the security deviser of the Bundeskanzleramt, the key figure of German foreign policy, insisted that the meeting should be secret and that it takes place in a restaurant. There it was made clear, that the EU could never accept Estonia as member.

Now I shortcut: Cause EU means NATO too , and that is not in the interest of Germany. And in public the Germans played the big friends of Estonia, haha. This here is a different story. I wish it would be a tale.
http://www.thilves.ee/artiklid/01reflect.pdf

Jan ütles ...

[quote]And in public the Germans played the big friends of Estonia, haha.[/quote]

*rofl*

hmm ütles ...

Teile meeldiks USA president, kes räägib inglise keelt nagu mõni püüdlik Mehhiko immigrant?

Kui alternatiiv on president, kes ülde midagi ei jaga, siis usun et küll.

Giustino ütles ...

Kui alternatiiv on president, kes ülde midagi ei jaga, siis usun et küll.

Kellest te räägite? Toomas Varek?

Eppppp ütles ...

Ja kes räägib inglise keelt nagu püüdlik Mehhiko immigrant? Et...?

Anonüümne ütles ...

Paljud asjad, mida Ilvesele ette heidetakse on umbes sama jaburad nagu Ameerikas räägiti sellest, et John Kerry on "too french".

John Kerry was never the strongest candidate. It is very hard for a US senator to get elected president. Think about it - out of 42 US presidents, only 2 have been senators.

And Kerry wasn't too "French" - he was just a "Masshole" - a term we use for people from Massachusetts. It means he was arrogant, academic - a bit of a self-confident windbag. That's what a Masshole is.

Given the choice between a Masshole and a wannabe Texan (Bush's family is actually from Connecticut), my state - New York -chose the Masshole.

Now you have a choice between a weasly invalid and an arrogant mülk. Who is it going to be?

Personally, I sort of wished Ergma had won. But now - after all of this garbage where KESK and ERL wouldn't even let their members vote - I am not rooting for Rüütel.

Eppppp ütles ...

Giustino, is that you (the last anon. person) "Mülk?" ;) Must be "mulk", whoever you are.

To the topic - I also prefer Ergma over Ilves as a president for Estonia. There is something... I could see her as a president for all the people.
I like Ilves, too, personally, but I know that my grandparents dont, and their neigbours etc.
Whatever, Ergma is not going to happen.
Either Ilves... Or Rüütel... Or Savisaar Himself.

Giustino ütles ...

Yeah, it's strange though. Ergma actually got more votes. But now she says she'll back Ilves. I mean Ilves "looks" presidential - but I think Ergma (as well) would be a good pick.

I think Estonia has only had old presidents. Even Päts was old and he was the first president - before him they had this strange riigivanem position "state elder."

So it's hard for a lot of people to see Ilves and think 'president.' But an alternative of Rüütel doesn't really make me happy. What is he going to do in the next few years, his twilight years, that he hasn't done already. Couldn't Savisaar and Reiljan found a better candidate? Other than Savisaar, of course.

hmm ütles ...

I asked my grandmother who she prefers as a president and she answered Rüütel. When i acquired why she has such an opinion, she said:
"Oh, my friend always says that Savisaar and Rüütel are the right Estonian men! They made Estonia free!"

That kind of made me shiver for a second. But well the pensioners are one of Keskerakond's biggest voters :roll:

Giustino ütles ...

Savisaar and Rüütel did do a lot to free Estonia. But that doesn't make them the kings of Estonia. If Rüütel wanted to be president again, he could have 1) debated other candidates and 2) stood in the parliamentary round. Why was it so hard to get him to do these very basic things? Are they just afraid of what he might do, the same way they were too afraid to let their party members vote yesterday and today? It's just so lame.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Rüütel and Savissar freed Estonia? (They had their part). That would mean Rüütel and Savisaar were the 2 guys choir of the Singing Revolution and the people were looking in disbelief how they managed the process over the three or four years. Or was it the other way around?
The both did what the PEOLPE wanted. The call for souvereignity came after the gathering of the 300 000 in 1988. Or did I miss something?

hmm ütles ...

By the way, Rüütel did occure in one debate on ETV's show "Kas sellist Eestit me tahtsimegi" which was a roundtable about where Estonia should go and what it's goal should be. He, as usual, gave a speech about the "principal values" which is like his most favourite expression ever. But the show turned out to be a debate Savisaar vs Ansip-Laar where Rüütel occasionally butted in, gave a speech about "the values and the moral wellbeing of people" etc, and then the debate went on.

The last sentence of mister Rüütel in that show was actually so fuzzy and he remembered something Ansip had said completely wrong so he put words into Ansip's mouth. Ansip's reaction was hilarious.. he turned to Laar and was like "What the hell is he talking about?" silently in the background, but the time of the debate was over right at that second.

Giustino ütles ...

That's right, I forgot about that dialogue on ETV. I was looking at that tabel actually and thinking -"Will all of these men eventually become Estonia's president?"

Seriously time is against the Rüütel-Savisaar-Reiljan alliance. That's probably why they are fighting so hard to stay in power.

Many of the other parties (especially Res Publica) are run by guys in their 30s. That means that they will be the experienced ones with the bags of dirty tricks in a couple years...

Anonüümne ütles ...

Giustino, this has nothing got to do with Ilves and presidency, but I'd just like to know what do You think about people who at this moment WANT Soviet Union back because they think that USA capitalism is worse than communism? I've read many comments about this issue and since You know about USA and Estonia (what Estonian people think) maybe You know how to answer this.

Giustino ütles ...

You think about people who at this moment WANT Soviet Union back because they think that USA capitalism is worse than communism? I've read many comments about this issue and since You know about USA and Estonia (what Estonian people think) maybe You know how to answer this.

I have never met an Estonian that said they wanted the Soviet Union back. Ever. If you read the comments on the newspapers they are often even too anti-Russia for me.

But I think older voters as well as some ethnic Russian voters probably respond well to Savisaar and Rüütel because they prefer stability to transparency.

I think that there is a segment of the population that belives government is naturally corrupt, and they'd prefer a government with dandy populist leaders who promise them X amount of state pensions than one that actually debates, etc.

I have a feeling that supporters of Lukashenko in Belarus feel this way. "Why should we support democracy when Lukashenko takes care of us so well." I've met Russians who feel the same way about democracy.

The urge for responsive leadership, however, seems different in Estonia - though I have never been to Belarus or Russia. It might have something to do with the Protestant Reformation.

There is this very angry desire to knock every politician off his or her perch. Rather than sacrifice principles for stability, Estonians seem perhaps even too willing to sacrifice stability for principles.

I mean look at how many governments Estonia has had in the past 15 years? The record seems to be Mart Laar in the 1999-2002 period, although if Reform wins in 2007, Ansip could be the next to hold office for more than two years.

I can't even imagine if the Soviet Union existed today and how they'd handle Estonia. They'd probably just have to kill everybody because they are among the most uncooperative people I have ever met. Sure they seem nice and quiet, but I doubt they'd hold the door for you, let alone worship a leader the way Putin and Lukashenko are worshipped.

In Estonia all leaders are pähed and troppid AND lollid. At least that's what I think.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Omg, Soviet Union back? If people think that way then go back and look at the movie from Stanislaw Govorukhin: 'We can't live like this'. Yah. But maybe some want it, then people go ahead and find your island where you can live that way again. But please do not bother other with your live again.
But the question goes to Giustino. I am just angry.

Giustino ütles ...

I should add that among the Soviet generations, especially people in their late 20s to early 40s, there is a fondness for talking about "the old days."

For example, I had students tell me that "today is Friday, and about 20 years ago, we'd be having fish" (I guess fish was sold or available on certain days, I don't know). They seemed pretty chumy about it.

Or I had others tell me about the Soviet world, where they could go to Kazakhstan without a visa, or Soviet cartoons. Or Soviet jokes.

But the reality is that they chose independence. Twice. And both times it's worked out pretty well for them. Every time I see a nasty old building get torn down and see a new one go up in its place, I have to say it makes me feel good inside. I wish we had that kind of spirit in New York - to tear down all the mess and rebuild something better. But it's not going to happen here.

Inga ütles ...

Fish days were Thursdays ;-)
I think this is more a nostalgy connected to memories of our "young days" than the urge to get Soviet Union back. Too bad our "young days" happened to be under the Soviet regime, but we lived and loved and studied and grew, and it's OUR past!

Jens-Olaf ütles ...
Blogi administraator eemaldas selle kommentaari.
Jens-Olaf ütles ...

I don't want to take the individual good memories about someones own past. I want democracy, I want transparency. I want a state were the people can say: Hey, we got to do something, government get out of the way and give us the money. Not waiting for king like presidents,hoping for a good government.
I postet here about Coleman's Demococracy in the internet age.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

There was a poll actually. Once in Postimees, I think at the time of the millenium (year 2000). Asking questions about how it was, the last century. And on the question of whether the people want the USSR back. The majority did not, but still some significant minority part did. I have a feeling the poll was conducted in Estonian language.

Then again, I remember a separate unconnected poll this time made or referred to by a Russian (in Russia) organization, questioning "Russian-speaking Estonians" on some issues. Again, according to it the majority was anti-USSR, but can't tell what was the %. And I have a feeling since then we have been moving in the general direction away from the only true teaching of Lenin.

Giustino ütles ...

I am still quite glad Estonia "made the cut" into the EU and NATO. I have a feeling that if it was delayed any longer they wouldn't have made it, especially after the constitution fell apart in 2005. I guess Old Eestimaa deserves a little good luck after many years of bad luck.

Anonüümne ütles ...

I'm actually thinking that maybe people who miss S.U. don't actually miss the union or the government, but they miss the benefits, alias free education (university), jobs, free health care and such.....

T! ütles ...

about missing the S.U.:I grew up in the eastern part of germany (for the ones who remember it was called GDR or DDR) however, there were similar reactions, thoughts about former times...the thing is that with the implementation of free economy everyone had to face certain "threats" i.e. unemployment or increased costs for health insurance, less pension, tuition fees etc....and all of a sudden some people said that the GDR / DDR times were better but what the meant was just that it was somehow safer regarding social security system(s)...how is that saying: "he always want to have what he doesn't have"

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

The SU and GdR were acting like: We have no money but we spend it. Cause we are a communist country. The people are getting the benefits. When the system collapsed it was easy to blame capitalism, new rules, harder live. Estonia was in a terrible condition in late 91. 10-20 Dollar monthly sallery! But still a SOVIET economy. THEN it changed.

Anonüümne ütles ...

TALLINN - President Arnold Ruutel moved a step closer to a second term in office after Parliament failed to elect a new president on Aug. 28 – 29. Lawmakers from two center-parties abstained from voting in the ballots, and as a result the two candidates – Ene Ergma and Toomas Hendrik-Ilves – supported by three center-right and right-wing parties failed to muster the necessary 68 votes needed to elect a new head of state.

It marked the second time in five years that the Riigikogu (Estonia’s parliament) failed to elect a president, forcing the creation of an electoral college that will be charged with the task of electing Estonia a new head of state.
Edgar Savisaar, chairman of the center-left Center Party, told reporters on Aug. 29 that the electoral college would select Ruutel on Sept. 23. “The electoral college will make a good choice, because the electors have only been recently elected, with fresh mandates and should therefore quite accurately reflect opinions of the people,” he said.

MPs from the Center Party and the People’s Union, both center-left parties that form two-thirds of the ruling coalition, stuck to their guns and didn’t even show up in Parliament during the two days despite calls from opposition MPs.
As a result, parties launched into a vicious bout of finger-pointing, with both sides of the spectrum blaming the other for unconstitutional and devious activities. At one point even the Reform Party, the third coalition partner, hit back at the two center-left parties.

Indeed, emotion ran high throughout the beginning of the week, sparking an unprecedented plea from Ulle Aaskivi, a government adviser, who made an unscheduled speech before Parliament calling on all MPs to vote on the two presidential candidates. But the plea by Aaskivi, who was described as a hero by local media for her speech, was ignored by the Center Party and the People’s Union, who openly support a second term for Ruutel.

On Aug. 28, Ene Ergma, a former rocket scientist and a member of Res Publica, collected 65 votes in her favor – three short of the required number. The scene was repeated the following day when Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a member of the European Parliament and a top figure in Estonia’s Social Democratic Party, mustered just 64 votes.
The center-left parties and President Ruutel blasted the election as undemocratic – even Soviet – since only one candidate was put forward in each round of voting.

“A situation where only one name appears on the ballot does not represent the democratic ideals in the name of which we restored our independence,” Ruutel was quoted as saying.
Tonis Lukas, co-chairman of the Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica, struck back at the center-left parties. “It is very bad that the Center Party and People’s Union factions have taken an arrogant stance and have decided not to take part in the elections, but the people understand very well what role anyone has taken and will draw their own conclusions,” he said. They have turned the presidential elections into a cheap show.”
The two candidates themselves, who had been put forward by a council comprised of four parties, called for reforming the current system.

Ergma told The Baltic Times it was now clear that reform was needed. “We need to directly elect the president,” she said outside the parliamentary chamber, minutes after the predictable result was handed down.
“I will try my best to make this happen, and my party is committed to it. This year what has happened has put hard pressure on the other parties to also consider changing to direct elections,” she said.
Ilves said he also believed reform was necessary.
“We have two institutions that can decide the presidency. It’s really a dumb thing to do – to have two systems doing the same job. We should decide which one we want to do it,” Ilves said, adding that the constituency of the electoral college was an inadequate representation of the nation.

Ilves is expected to run against Ruutel in the electoral college round next month.
Tallinn University of Technology political analyst, Professor Raimond Katel, said he doubted that even the tumultuous events of the week would bring about electoral reform.
“Some parties tried to bring about an agenda for change some years ago, but it became obvious that there was not a majority in parliament to support these changes. Politicians are scared of the ‘populist trap’ – that direct elections of the president will turn it into a populist position,” Katel said.

“The Center Party has the momentum now. They are supporting Ruutel, and they want the old system to continue.”
Politicians ran a gauntlet of young protesters on their way into Parliament. One girl waved a placard comparing Center leader Savisaar and Villu Reiljan, the head of the People’s Union, to Johan Laidoner and Konstantin Pats, the army commander and president who controversially froze Estonia’s political systems and liberties in the 1930s.
The demonstrators, made up of four different conservative political youth parties, said they wanted politicians to obey the constitution or change it.

“They didn’t do their job,” organizer Kristjan Vanaselja said. “We have to question whether we want to change so we can directly elect the president, but we also must ask how much power we give the president. Estonia must decide if we want a presidential state or a parliamentary government state.”
The actions of the two parties drew widespread criticism from national media. The Postimees daily said the result meant Estonia’s political system had collapsed. “We will have a president not trusted by the representatives of the people, and representatives of the people whom the president does not trust,” the paper wrote.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Yah, this describes how you could ruin a democrcy, but also telling the source would be appreciated.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

A point or two summed up by me in this discussion you may find I bet supporting the general idea
http://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.baltics/browse_frm/thread/0b582164e84b1cea/94348f74fd73121f#94348f74fd73121f

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

the link was soc.culture.baltics on Rüütel

Giustino ütles ...

I don't know - I think a "bold and beautiful" Ilves might make a fine president.

All he has to do is look good for the camera and invite Tarja halonen to his farm in Viljandimaa.

It seems like the perfect job for him.

Seriously, Estonia owes him something. In the 1990s the word "Estonia" meant the gray, post-Soviet abyss.

Today Tallinn is in Lonely Planet's Scandinavian Europe guidebook and Rick Steves' Scandinavia guidebook.

Ilves really helped engineer the selling of Estonia as a Nordic/Scandinavian country. He was fairly successful in this effort, I think.

That marketing push, really generated by him, has done good for the country.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

What does Estonia in Germany means? A no name country for many , still. This is my impression after 1 and a half year blogging. You can use www.technorati.com, it is scarce to find Estland. Germany has 80 millions. I can dicuss Estonia in English language. Sorry for my many errors, I still can not do the same in my German language. Talking about Estonia. Rüütel will change this 0 %. He already is president for 4 years.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Estonia is not part of Nordic. They want to be, but they're not. They're as Baltic as they can be.

Giustino ütles ...

Estonia is not part of Nordic. They want to be, but they're not. They're as Baltic as they can be.

It's entirely subjective. But the reality is that Estonians can say they are whatever they want to and nobody can tell them "you are this" or "you are that."

It's a good marketing move for them too, because most tourists enter Estonia via the traditional Nordic countries - via ferry or plane from Stockholm or Helsinki.

I pity the person that braves the central European bus connection to Estonia. It's a long trip indeed.

Hence, from a marketing perspective, it made sense for Estonians to include themselves in the Scandinavian/Nordic group. And they have been successful at that - no matter what any one individuals opinion may be.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Yah, Palmberg is is the name of my Estonian ancestors. They are more nordic than my hero Pitkämäki (Javelin). Palmberg is a Swedish name for an Estonian family. The Finish had the chance to join the Nordic countries after 45. They did. Terrible roads as the Norwegians once had but later adopted the scandinavian model of society. The Swedish and Danish were the idols. Island joined later. These are the flags one got to view during the 70s and 80s as tourist:Island, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland and maybe the Aland's flag too. These were the Nordic countries after 45. I do remember a Finish magazine that was emphazising: We are not Mongols. Yes, maybe not. Anonymus, were are you from?

Giustino ütles ...

The Finish had the chance to join the Nordic countries after 45. They did.

Look, Estonians are not Scandinavians. Scandinavians are northern Germans (Icelanders, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes). But neither are the Finns. Yet the Finns are Nordic. Nordic is meant in many cases to just refer to the social welfare state.

But there must be something more to it than that because it seems like there is a Nordic cultural identity.

Hence you get Estonian participation at events like this:

http://www.scanfest.org/

"Come to ScanFest! It’s an all-day celebration of Scandinavia at its best – where you’ll discover the customs…the history…the ethnic variety of the six Nordic nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden"