I often feel that political analyses of the situation in Estonia leave out the most obvious. While journalists type away about Estonia's relations with Russia, they fail to see that its political climate is quite similar to many others in Europe, but
especially other nordic countries. In fact, trend watchers should view Estonia within the nordic context if they wish to better understand Estonian politics.
The first point is this: economically liberal parties are on the ascent across northern Europe. In Estonia's case, it's to get away from a post-communist legacy that most agree left the country underdeveloped and uncompetitive. In other nordic countries though its the critique of the high-tax, Scandinavian "social welfare" model - often described as a a northern European balancing act to communism.
In Denmark, the economically liberal, centre-right Venstre Party has been in power under the leadership of Anders Fogh Rasmussen since 2001. Center-Right parties also came to power in Sweden last year under Fredrik Reinfeldt. And in Finland, across the gulf, Matti Vanhanen's Centre Party, also considered economically center-right, has the most seats in the Eduskunta.
The second point is this: nativist or nationalist parties are also polling well up north. As opposed to the way Pravda views it, Isamaa-Res Publica Liit aren't a remote case of the post-commie fascist blues. They've got cousins in other kindred northern countries like Pia Kjaersgaard's Danish People's Party, which polls as well in Denmark. In Finland, Isamaa can find kindred politicians in Kokoomus. This is a nordic phenomenon that isn't occuring in a vacuum.
Finally, most governments in power in nordic Europe are increasingly viewing Russia as a threat, not just Estonia. As Edward Lucas notes in his blog, Norway and Sweden are also now viewing Russian energy plans as possible security threats. All of this leads me to urge others to realize that Estonian politics are hardly happening in a bubble. Estonian is a northern European country, and these are current northern European issues.