teisipäev, veebruar 27, 2007

Will Savisaar be Estonia's next prime minister?

TNS Emor finally dropped another poll on us, less than a week before votes are to be tallied in the world's first-ever parliamentary election where citizens can cast their votes via Internet.

The Estonian polling outfit also predicted that Keskerakond will win 35 seats in the next Riigikogu, four more seats than Reformierakond. Emor predicts that Isamaa-Res Publica Liit will earn 15 seats, Eestimaa Rahvaliit 8 seats, Rohelised 7 seats, and the Sotsid 6 seats.

This polling data tells us a few things. The first is that Res Publica has failed to hang onto the voters it earned during the last parliamentary elections in 2003. Those voters have likely gone elsewhere, probably to the Greens and to Reform.

The second thing this polling shows us is that Reform has built its electoral base over the last few years. They currently have 19 seats. If they win 31 seats they will have increased their representation in the Riigikogu by over 60 percent. This shows us that Reform is gathering strength, even if Savisaar wins the most votes on Sunday.

Several factors that I believe this poll fails to take into account are the solidity of IRL's support, the solidity of the Green's support, and the extent to which Internet voting will favor certain portions of the electorate -- younger, educated, urban -- over others -- less well off, rural, no laptop.

In the first case, since I am surrounded by Isamaa voters, even here in Tartu, I have to say that their base is loyal and will vote. When I see teenage girls wearing IRL sallid and nearly every person I ask is voting IRL, then I'd have to say that, using my own compass, their base will turn out. I expect them to get more seats than TNS Emor has pegged using its numbers.

The second case is that these polls -- and the spectre of Savisaar's victory and appointment as prime minister -- may discourage some of those leaning Rohelised to bite the bullet and vote for Reform or IRL, parties that have certainly lost support to Mr. Strandberg's party. I expect that Rohelised will get five or six seats in the end, not seven.

Finally, what kind of people are favored by Internet elections? Those with access to the Internet. That means that Kesk's older, rural supporters will have a harder time voting than, say, Reform's supporters. All of this doesn't mean that Savisaar won't still come out on top on Sunday, but it doesn't make me believe that his appointment as prime minister is inevitable.

Who, by the way, will form a coalition with Keskerakond?

16 kommentaari:

plasma-jack ütles ...

this e-voting thing is overhyped. for instance, I basically live on the internet, but last week, I still voted "traditionally". I like the dignity of the procedure and secondly, I don't have an ID card. That's kind a protest from my part, because it really pisses me off that they try to oblige me getting one. f.u., i've got my paper passport. i don't need your fecking ID card. nothing to do with it besides buying cheaper bus tickets (that's discriminatimg, but I take a free ride frequently enough to compensate the loss) and.. e-voting (which makes selling of your vote very much easier). Useless piece of plastic garbage. I won't get one before my passport expires in 2010. As an example of political propaganda financed by my tax money, I despise this little, silly, shiny piece of crap.

plasma-jack ütles ...

I mean, really - which way has this e-government and ID-card bollocks changed anybody's life? My wallet is bloody full of plastic already. Next they'll offer you a possibility to put a surveillance chip under your skin - compulsorily and for charge. Bloody e-fascism, that is.

Kaur ütles ...

well Plasma-jack. The biggest reason to have the ID card is the size - you can always carry it with you in your pocket/wallet/or-where-ever.

Although I don't have ID card as well, because it still has too little point. If they could actually transfer all your identity data on the card, then I'd go for that the next day (driving licence, healthcare card, student card.. some bank transfer card?). And although I don't have the ID card I still like the idea of voting over the internet. Of cause, it makes the buying of votes easier, but still I think there should be ways of controlling the buying of votes (I'm sure there are some ways to check the legality of the votes, that you and i don't have a clue about). I don't know if the voting system logs the IP where the voting was done (I know that they can't put the IP and the voter and the vote together, because the system is decrypted), but i think they do. So if there is an IP from where comes more than a considerable amount of votes, it makes it a bit strange. Of cause there could be a possibility that it is somewhere in rural areas, where they have one ID-card reader in the library (for example) and all the people there will go and vote there.. In that case, there should be a way to control that the voting was done by the laws.

Anonüümne ütles ...

easy plasma-jack...there is nothing wrong with progress...e-voting is just about making the life more convenient, its more about making estonia's image of e-estonia more solid...you are stuck with orwell's scary fantasies...e-fascism??? well, you can´t be serious...I mean 1984 is fiction, it gives you an idea about how life can look like but its still up to you, how do you interpret the reality, if surveillance cameras scary you, if a little chip on a document frighten the hell out of you...well...I feel sorry for you...I have nothing to hide...talking about the vitreous customer/voter/employee/citizen, hey here we go, I have nothing to hide and still would feel the freedom to do what ever I am up to and wouldn't be afright...

ilmar ütles ...

Well, Plasma-Jack, first of all, e-voting is really convenient. Slide the card in the slot, open the browser, see who's on the list, click, and you're done. Besides, it turned out I am supposed to vote in Tartu and I'm nowhere near the place. And I do not have the vaguest idea where the nearest polling station is. I know, my fault. But going out to vote seems like going to a bank to pay you telephone bill. You just don't do that, do you? Either you do it online or you have a "püsikorraldus". By the way, why cannot we have an e-voting "püsikorraldus"? :) I would like it.

Another great thing about the id-card is its size. As Kaur already said, it fits in your wallet.
I forget things. And I travel a lot. If I remember to take my wallet (testicles, spectacles, watch, and wallet, my morning checklist:), I can get across the border. Much less hassle.

And you can do things with it. A friend of mine programmed his front door to open with the card. When he's away, he can remotely program his front door to let in his friends so they can take care of his pets. I find it great.

Andres Sehr ütles ...

Who, by the way, will form a coalition with Keskerakond?

Good question. Time and time again Reform has said they won't work with KESK and they lob bombs at each other like their is no tomorrow but when push comes to shove I think Reform likes power and will fall in line again.

Most people can only hope that no one will work with Kesk and someone else will be PM.

Giustino ütles ...

Good question. Time and time again Reform has said they won't work with KESK and they lob bombs at each other like their is no tomorrow but when push comes to shove I think Reform likes power and will fall in line again.

Reform could benefit in some ways. Kesk would do the dirty work with Russia (border treaty, etc.) and Reform would still manage to hang on to its patriotic credentials. Plus they'd keep Savisaar in check as a coalition partner. Because if the coalition falls, there'd definitely be a new prime minister.

Actually, if Emor is right, the government won't even need a third party in the coalition. It would just be Reform and Center.

Most people can only hope that no one will work with Kesk and someone else will be PM.

Perhaps such an agreement is already in place.

Andres ütles ...

There are speculations about a Rohelised-IRL-Sotsid "deal", but they're only rumours. I wonder how accurate those polls are? What's the error margin? If the error margin is like 10%, then hell, they're just a populist trick.

Toivo ütles ...

Turu-uuringute AS has more trustworthy polls.

http://www.epl.ee/artikkel/375950

Toivo ütles ...

Kaur vaidleb plasma-jackiga inglise keeles? viisakusest? :)

margus ütles ...

[Kaur vaidleb plasma-jackiga inglise keeles? viisakusest? :)]

sugugi mitte. meid loevad ju 'miljonid' välismaalased. :)

Flasher T ütles ...

Who, by the way, will form a coalition with Keskerakond?

Under the numbers you quoted, the logical separation is Reform/IRL/SDE/Green vs Centrist/Rahvaliit. The coalition gets a comfortable majority of 63 votes total.

when push comes to shove I think Reform likes power and will fall in line again.

The current coalition is a consensus, not filibustered by the opposition purely because it was the only way of keeping Savisaar from the PM's seat. If Reform can get away with not joining Centrists - and it looks like they can - they'll much rather work with IRL and SDE. Strandberg will get his Environmental Ministry, and we can settle down for a couple years until the government falls again.

Kesk would do the dirty work with Russia (border treaty, etc.)

If Savisaar actually introduces a bill to remove the preface from the ratification act just to play into Russia's hand, Laar is going to chew his face off.

Actually, if Emor is right, the government won't even need a third party in the coalition. It would just be Reform and Center.

...the party that ran on a platform of decreasing the income tax, and the party that ran on a platform of introducing progressive income tax? How exactly do you see that working? :)

There are speculations about a Rohelised-IRL-Sotsid "deal"

There is no way in hell those three are getting 51 seats between them.

lounamaa ütles ...

...the party that ran on a platform of decreasing the income tax, and the party that ran on a platform of introducing progressive income tax? How exactly do you see that working? :)

Keskerakond has been very quiet about their progressive income tax idea as of late (also, they have scrapped their earlier plans for changing the tax system for a version that resembles the one proposed by the SDE). Besides, we have already seen during the past couple of years that the income tax is not an issue that would prevent a political marriage between Keskerakond and Reform. Keskerakond's electorate does not mind being lied to.

Keskerakond has also wisely forgotten about the KERA pact that facilitated the division of Estonia's parties into two opposing camps during the presidential elections. As a result, both Keskerakond and Rahvaliit have regained some much-needed popularity and have made it easier for Reform (or anyone else for that matter) to justify forming a coalition with them.

Manuel Alvarez-Rivera ütles ...

Hello,

You might be interested in knowing that a couple of pieces on Estonia's electoral system and its economy are now online at the Global Economy Matters blog.

Incidentally, my website also covers elections in Finland (which votes later this month), Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

plasma-jack ütles ...

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/evote/0,72846-0.html?tw=rss.index

Kaur ütles ...

I have another idea about the ID cards. Estonian companies should develop ID-card reader slot, so you buy your new laptop with a built-in solution.. or another option is to develop a PCMCIA card to do the same work - as the laptop bag is always full of crap I don't miss another gadget..

sorry for a little off-topic post.. but it just came to my mind.