laupäev, märts 03, 2007

Valimisstuudio

So we just finished watching the big debate on ETV-hosted valimisstuudio program, featuring the prime ministerial candidates of all of the "real" political parties in Estonia, including already in the riigikogu, those who poll well, and the Eesti Kristlikud Demokraatid (Christian Democrats), whoever they are.

After watching the debates, I've composed this list of winners , the "eh", based on my reaction to the different candidates.

The Winners

Edgar Savisaar
(Keskerakond) - it's quite likely that Keskerakond is going to win tomorrow, and Savisaar exuded confidence during the debate, consistently attempting to stay "above" the criticism lobbed at him by IRL candidate Mart Laar. It's no wonder he's popular here in Estonia, he's a talented debater. Unfortunately he makes bad decisions. Allying your party with United Russia? Maybe you should have allied yourself with your "Center Party" colleagues in Finland first!

Marek Strandberg (Rohelised) - Seated on the other side of the table - far away from Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Mart Laar, and Savisaar, Strandberg seemed pleasantly detached from the back and forth between IRL and Keskerakond, taking every opportunity to refocus a question on another issue. I enjoyed listening to his responses, and he never looked bored. I hope he gets his five seats.

Andrus Ansip (Reformierakond) - Seated between Savisaar and Laar, Ansip made both of the two poles in Estonian politics seem a bit petty and foolish. Instead, Ansip came across as clear-headed and responsible, and kept the focus on the Reform Party's liberal economic platform.

The "Eh"

Mart Laar
(Isamaa-Res Publica Liit) - I had to invent an "eh" category just for Laar. because he didn't lose the debate, but he didn't exactly look like a winner either. Instead he took every opportunity to criticize Savisaar or Keskerakond. Part of me thinks that Laar knows that he's not going to be in the next government and he's just trying to rally the anti-Savisaar troops. The other part of me fears that this is just a self-fulfilling prophecy. The best point Laar made was that salaries and pensions cannot be fixed by just promising an extra 500 EEK. These things grow over of time in tandem with the economy. Thanks for the small oasis of reality.

Aldo Vinkel (Eesti Kristlikud Demokraadid) - Where did this party come from and how did they get invited to valimisstuudio? I haven't seem them in one poll and then - poof! - out of nowhere they appear with an advertising blitz. Out of utter confusion, Vinkel merits an "eh" but it's a different kind of "eh" than Laar's "eh."

The Losers

Villu Reiljan
(Eestimaa Rahvaliit) - Villu barely managed to look anyone in the eye during the debate, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was napping during part of it. Even with my Estonian comprehension skills I was waiting for the next word to fall out of his mouth. Somebody should have given him some coffee before the program.

Ivari Padar (Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond) - Ivari similarly seemed bored during the debate. Maybe he also got tired of the "Gigantide Heitlus" between Laar and Savisaar. I've read that both of these guys are from Võru. Maybe it's a sleepy part of the country.

15 kommentaari:

bunseni_lamp ütles ...

>Allying your party with United >Russia? Maybe you should have >allied yourself with your "Center >Party" colleagues in Finland >first!

Now, lots have been told about this Keskerakond deal with Putin's party. What has not been told is that other European parties have similar treaties. For example Finland's major right wing party Kansallinen Kokoomus has the same treaty with United Russia, if I'm not completely wrong. It's cosidered normal interaction between European parties. Their strong man and presidential candidate Sauli Niinistö even defended Russia's actions in Chechnya, but that's entirely different matter. So there might be a hundred valid reasons to dismiss Kesk but treaty with United Russia is not necessarily one of them, at least not until such practice is not being condemned in other European countries.

Giustino ütles ...

So there might be a hundred valid reasons to dismiss Kesk but treaty with United Russia is not necessarily one of them, at least not until such practice is not being condemned in other European countries.

But was it really necessary? It seems like an open invitation to attack. Another foolish move was the attempt to keep vanaisa Arnold Rüütel in office for five more years. We all know how that went.

When the Keskid decided not to vote in parliament on Ilves' candidacy, each one, in my opinion, forfitted their right to hold electoral office. You don't get elected to NOT vote, especially in presidential elections.

Toivo ütles ...

Polls promise as far as 2% of the votes to Eesti Kristlikud Demokraadid. Not bad. Maybe some isikumandaat for them.

Most of them participated in the previous elections as Eesti Kristlik Rahvapartei.

margus ütles ...

Saying that Savisaar is a 'reasonable' guy will get you into flame wars. He is very imposing indeed, but that doesn't come from argumentation ability. He doesn't even need it. He has a reputation of a 'people's man' and he does everything he can to overwhelm pensioners and russians with that legend. The pensioners, who think that entrepeneur means thief, themselves eagerly vote for the man who promises them immediate money at the expense of others. Due to the language barrier some russians are simply deprived of proper media.

So, in a nutshell: Savisaar's popularity stems from class hatred and ignorance.

His tactic of tackleing questions is that he simply translates it into his ideology and the answer is always the same: Savisaar takes care of the 'little' people.

[aiming more at your readers]

margus ütles ...

Laar, unlike Savisaar, has strong arguments, but he says much more than he ought to and sticks to his favorite issues, making himself look like a moron. The 5-day beard and silly grin don't help.

Giustino ütles ...

Laar, unlike Savisaar, has strong arguments, but he says much more than he ought to and sticks to his favorite issues, making himself look like a moron. The 5-day beard and silly grin don't help.

He also looks upward when he speaks. But for Laar at least time is on his side. Laar is ten years younger than Savikas. His time will come again ;)

Andres ütles ...

I liked how Laar tried to bring some consensus into the debate. Looked like nobody took the bait though :P He still seems like the reasonable choice between ultra-rightist Ansip, untrustworthy Savisaar and low-polling Padar.

Giustino ütles ...

He still seems like the reasonable choice between ultra-rightist Ansip, untrustworthy Savisaar and low-polling Padar.

Ansip looks like Hunt Krimsilm.

space_maze ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Giustino ütles ...

Well, it looks like Reformierakond pulled it off. Now Hunt Kriimsilm (Ansip) has the luxury of choosing whom to form a government with.

Will he take the easy route and go it alone with the Keskid, or will he form a four-way with IRL, Sotsid, and Rohelised?

Discussions start tomorrow evening.

martintg ütles ...

IRL did unexpectantly well, so a three-way with Ansip and the Rohelised would be nice. Afterall, conservation of natural resourves is enshrined in Article 5 of the constitution.

martintg ütles ...

Btw, language comes in as article 6, after conservation of natural resourse.

kari ütles ...

basicaly there are two options either reform and kesk or reform, isamaa and someone as i doubt i will ever see a government made up of isamaa and kesk. isamaa is known to be on good terms with sotsid so they are a natural choice. although almost nothing is impossible.
i am rather amazed of the poor results demonstrated by konstitutsioonierakond as they got a lot of free publicity with the pronksmees thing. KP got even less votes than in 2003

Andres ütles ...

I guess the local Russians showed what they REALLY think of the Constitution Party with this election.

Giustino ütles ...

i am rather amazed of the poor results demonstrated by konstitutsioonierakond as they got a lot of free publicity with the pronksmees thing. KP got even less votes than in 2003.

It's kind of interesting to read the Russian perspective on the elections. They think that Estonian politics revolve arond Russia and that this election was centered on the WWII monument.

But, having lived through the elections here, I'd have to tell them that Russia wasn't really on people's minds yesterday.

And I think that Estonia's ethnic Russians are a part of that too. They are Estonians too. They also want Estonia's living standards to continue to climb. What did Zarenkov offer them? Feel good USSR nostalgic BS? That doesn't pay anybody's rent.

And for younger ethnic Russians it's even less potent because a lot of them speak Estonian fluently so these early 1990s issues are out of date and not as relevant to their everyday lives.

As one young gentleman of Russian descent from Tallinn recently told me, "See on minu maailm" as he explained how it was that he was fluent in and worked in two languages, everyday.