esmaspäev, märts 24, 2008


When Reformierakond won two seats more in the Estonian parliament than its closest competitor and former coalition partner Keskerakond, the prevailing sense among the Keskid was that Reform would flirt with Isamaa-Res Publica Liit, then return to form the new election coalition with Keskerakond.

Unfortunately, for Keskerakond, that didn't happen. The major stumbling block to a coalition agreement with IRL -- the appointment of Mart Laar to the post of foreign minister, which was rejected by PM Andrus Ansip -- was set aside and the coalition was formed with the Social Democrats. Keskerakond went into opposition.

This morning I caught an interesting interview with Kadri Must on ETV, the head representative of Keskerakond and an Estonian MP. Keskerakond has been trying to woo/insult Eestimaa Rahvaliit and SDE into consultations, though SDE has made it clear that as long as Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar is leading Keskerakond, it will be unwilling to partner with that party.

This is a smart bluff from SDE. In reality, the kinds of voters that SDE is looking for are the same ones that attract Keskerakond's support. Savisaar is Kesk's most charismatic candidate. If Savisaar were out of the picture, presumably SDE's support would grow. And since he's unlikely to be out of the picture, well, SDE can just sit right where it is -- in the ruling coalition. They shouldn't rule out consultations though. With a dependable 10 percent of the electorate behind them, they very well could wind up being the party that is never out of power.

The idea of Savisaar remaining as mayor of Tallinn and a newer prime ministerial candidate being put forward by Keskerakond was evinced from Must during the interview. The ETV interviewer mentioned the fact that, by Estonian political standards at least, Savisaar is getting kind of old (He will be 61 in 2011, the year of the next parliamentary elections). He was also at the top of their list in 2003 and 2007, and didn't manage to win, even though polls indicated the odds were in the party's favor.

Must responded that the party leadership is certainly weighing putting someone younger forward in 2011, perhaps former Minister of Social Affairs Jaak Aab (pictured), or former Minister of the Interior Kalle Laanet. Both Aab and Laanet hail from the countryside -- Aab is from Helme Parish in Valgamaa, Laanet is from Saaremaa -- and they definitely carry less baggage than Savisaar. But it remains to be seen whether this idea is genuine or just morning television BS.

Another concept floated was that 2009 -- the year of European Parliamentary elections and municipal elections in Estonia -- will be a trying one for the ruling coalition because of their conflicting platforms. I have some suspicion that Keskerakond has already hatched a sinister plan to play the current coalition partners off one another and ride their way all the way back to Stenbock House. We'll see.

6 kommentaari:

Unknown ütles ...

With someone like Jaak Aab or Kalle Laanet as #1 for Kesk, I would even start to consider voting for them. (not that I'd probably vote for them, but I'd at least consider the possibility) Although I'd still be a bit suspicious about Savisaar jumping out after the win and grabbing the throne (remember Ratas).

Kari ütles ...

i'm not quite sure that the people who are supporting SDe right now would accept ANY consultations with kesk. I know, it's just a slogan but JOKK jätta does have an impact on their electorate.

Ain Kendra ütles ...

As I think that electorate is not the same. Last time vote for SDE, but never will consider voting for Kesk. Even if Savisaar is out. As there are too many types like Volvo-Kallo in the party, the populism has became the main politics.
Well, never say never, but we have to forget Savisaar's existence before.
Another issue is of Aab or Laanet. As already seen, stronger politicians can survive even moving out from Kesk. So it can be that Laanet may take whatever posts. But of Aab - I do not believe. Too gray person.
Anyhow, I think that when Savisaar will be weaker or retire, party will be split. As we have already seen. Half of them will keep Kesk voters happy with populism (even joining with Rahaliit) and another half may survive as new party, cooperating with others.

Giustino ütles ...

As I think that electorate is not the same. Last time vote for SDE, but never will consider voting for Kesk.

Imagine that SDE moves beyond its base and becomes a big party. Who will buy its platform? IRL supporters? No. Reform supporters? No. That leaves people who voted for the Greens, Rahvaliit, and Keskerakond.

Since KESK is getting something like 50 percent of the vote in Ida Virumaa, I'd think that voters that were concerned about the quality of their social services might choose SDE.

Wahur ütles ...

Aab started as mayor of Võhma. This place was one of the worst bombholes in whole country and he did quite well there. So I would say this man has some hidden potential.

Kesk cannot drop Savisaar even if they wanted, because he is their only vote magnet. Most of their voters do not vote for Kesk - they vote for Savisaar, even if actual candidate is someone else. So if number 2 or 3 in some other party gets 1000 votes, these are his votes, his supporters. When number 2 or 3 of Kesk gets 1000 votes, most of them are actually Savisaar votes.

So with him out of the picture Kesk would be yet another ordinary 10%-or-less party with generic program (read: no program) and in constant danger of going the Rahvaliit or Koonderakond way.

Ain Kendra ütles ...

I agree with idea that if Kesk is going down then a lot of voters go for SDE. But still don't think current SDE voters may go over to Kesk. Right, a lot of votes to Kesk are personal votes for Savisaar. And this belief is so strong, that even if Savisaar may get courtcase and lose it in whichever topic, the voters say that it was specially prepared, forged etc. So no effect to his popularity. As we saw in Vilja case, as we saw in kohuke case or government villas sales or other numerous cases. So this looks like more to religion.

Again on SDE side - if they go for consultations with Kesk, they clearly lose a lot of their electors. Probably yet to greens. Maybe also to IRL.
IRL itself is also a strange creature. Anyhow, i think that at the moment there is a gap for a newcomer. Like it was with ResPublika which in Lihula was reformed to BezRublika.