90 percent of anything in life is just showing up and doing your job. If you are motivated enough to get out of bed, wash yourself, floss your teeth, and grumble into the office, you'll probably keep doing what you've been doing. Hell, you might even get a raise.
This secret of success has been known to Keskerakond in Ida-Virumaa county for a loooong time. Just look at the stats. In the March 2007 elections, Keskerakond got 55.2 percent of the votes. No other party performed as well in any other county in Estonia.
But what is the real secret to Kesk's success? The charisma of Edgar Savisaar? It's appealingly bland platform? No, they simply show up and tell the people of Ida-Virumaa, 70 percent of whom are native Russian speakers, that they care.
That's why everyone should be watching the Social Democrats right now in Ida Virumaa, because they are about to copy Kesk's strategy and could actually give the people more than a smile and a handshake.
First came Minister of Ethnic Affairs Urve Palo's Aug. 23 promise that citizenship requirements would be made easier, primarily by making the test on the constitution required by stateless persons to naturalize available in Russian.
This week Social Dem head and Minister of Finance Ivari Padar will accompany Palo to Ida Virumaa to meet with the heads of Kreenholm in Narva. Finally, Eesti Päevaleht reports today that the maavanem position in Ida Virumaa may soon be filled by a Social Democrat, Randel Länts.
The Sotsid traditionally do well in Võrumaa, Padar's former stomping ground, and Hiiumaa. In Ida Virumaa they poll behind the rest of the country where their support hovered around 10 percent in the last election. But given the reach out to Ida Virumaa voters, I wouldn't be surprised if that number climbs in the municipal elections in 2009, followed by the next round of parliamentary elections in 2011.