NO NEED FOR SORROW!
Pumpkin, no need for sorrow,
You’ll be eaten by horses tomorrow.
An old Estonian saying
Reformierakond is the most successful political company in Estonia. Edgar Savisaar is our leading politician. All party deserters do not act like boomerangs, but some, like Andres Herkel, do.
A few key ideas unacceptable for the majority of the society (but not to all!) can go a long way – as was shown by Mart and Martin Helme.
There were actually two losers. IRL and the social democrats. Especially those who took a risk and ran for the parliament as newcomers. IRL let go of their so-called “jerseys”, hoping it would not do much damage. Keskerakond has been letting go anyone who misbehaves, but has continued to win votes. IRL in the middle of a leadership crisis did not manage that.
Add to that a campaign which totally missed its target and recruitment of public figures belonging to social groups who support completely different parties – and you get “an epic fail”. A great danger of fading away.
These elections confirmed: the trade mark creates the superstar, not vice versa. The ideology that lies beneath the trade mark of a party and the collective trying to put it into practice.
IRL distanced itself from the national colours and ended up with the blandness of a laundry detergent. Although 78 707 people did not see this as a problem, it was only half of the vote catch the party was hoping for. IRL has always wanted to beat Reformierakond, but has failed to do so with the last two elections. They will not manage to pull such a strong list of candidates next time, unless they find an ingeniously fresh prime minister candidate. There is a great danger of falling apart and fading away, as the rugged and rebellious Vabaerakond is disassembling IRL with the latter’s own incapacity, self-righteousness and lack of empathy.
The disappointment of SDE is better hidden, but ever so deeper. Sven Mikser has grown into a prime minister candidate, but the unsuitability of their ideology for the mainstream Estonian has destroyed the confidence of this capable individual. The disappointment of many leading social democrats is just as great as that of IRL’s Erki Nool: complete and utter failure. In comparison with the expectations. Estonians love money and wellbeing, but fear red colour. Keskerakond’s green is therefore a wiser selection.
87 186 votes is a sad and painful count for Sven Mikser, Urve Palo and Indrek Saar. Because people want to identify with success. Like Yoko Alender and Eerik-Niiles Kross – they studied the ratings and split at the right moment. It will be very hard for IRL and SDE to keep their public advocates together after these elections.
A more colourful political landscape
For a politician, a good party is a one that gets you the job.
Reformierakond has all the power in Estonia, but Keskerakond – in Tallinn, which is pretty much the same thing, as Tallinn is an enclave within Estonia. Lots of jobs for dozens of people who are all politicians by their principal occupation. Additionally, SDE and IRL get twice as little funding from the state as Reformierakond and Keskerakond.
This especially affects competitiveness in terms of advertising. Plus the two parties right behind them, Vabaerakond and EKRE, are almost as capable as the two “mediocres”. The funding system of parties really is discriminating.
Estonian political landscape has become more colourful, but not necessarily in a bad way. It is more reflective of the public. But the public can be unforgiving when it comes to mistakes and failures. More than half of the Riigikogu got fired. The failed politicians only have one consolation: “Pumpkin, no need for sorrow. You’ll be eaten by horses tomorrow.” As of 2005, this horse in Estonian politics has been Reformierakond.