POLITICAL PARTIES SHOULD NOW ELECT ONE OF FIVE CANDIDATES WHO JUMPED THROUGH ALL THE HOOPS. ANYTHING ELSE SEEMS CRAZY
, Eesti Päevaleht
I am sad and happy at the same time. A year and a half of work and six months of intensive campaigning brought us, Siim Kallas’s team, the best of the five possible outcomes. The very morning Siim and I were joking, that if we don’t make it to the second round, we’ll go home and put on jeans for the election party.
Even though some netsexuals (a person who lives most of his life on a smartphone) did not believe that our result merited a party, it certainly did. Both Siim and I were happy about a lot of things.
Waking up yesterday morning I was still certain that the President will be elected. At the meeting hosted by Postimees, I told Mailis Reps that she has to account for the risk of actually becoming a President. She had no aura of self-assurance about being elected. She did note however that yes, it’s a possibility. This time the risk did not materialise for Mailis, Siim, Allar, Marina or Mart.
82% of the members of electoral body did their job properly, 18% (60 people of 332) however thought, that none of the candidates are suitable. That is considerably less than 33% needed to block the result in Riigikogu. It should have actually been the other way around, and a smaller percentage should have liked in the electoral body. We have no other elections, where you can also vote against (which usually means mechanical combining).
Sometimes it can be difficult to win a game of checkers online with a real opponent, because for instance an opponent from Brazil uses a computer to make successful moves. No need for brains. This time, all 5 candidates played against a computer, and they lost. Human brain is capable, but it’s very difficult to play with cheaters.
What next? As a lawyer I am hoping that my former lecturer Allar Jõks agrees with me – election process is preposterous. Former Chancellor of Justice and another lecturer of mine Eerik-Juhan Truuväli had this to say in one of his lectures: if the law is foolish, we should not do everything to follow it, we should change it.
We carried out a clear direct election campaign with 5 candidates and I can say with sincerity: all 4 opponents charmed me. Well done. But there is never a tournament in checkers where 5 people play the game through to the finish, gain a place, but no one receives a medal, because the judge decides: as 3 good players could not be bothered to attend, get lost. Shoo. Giving out medals not according to accomplishment and performance but whether you like someone is not appropriate in my opinion.
How to change the law? The decision should be made between direct elections and an electoral body. Direct elections are as exhausting for the candidates as preparing for the Olympics, but at the end of the Olympics, medals will always be given out. If no one jumps further, you are the winner. You do not have to jump at least 8 meters for your result to be considered. The least that should be done is that the electoral body elects the President with a simple majority of votes. The current rules also allow you to become a President with just 1 vote. If up to 334 of the rest of the people had not put their slip into the ballot box. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
Electoral body is a good thing, because after meeting personally with 98 of the electors from all over Estonia, I can assure you: electoral body is the best regional policy for the whole country. It’s necessary for the local thought leaders (and that’s what all the Councils in Estonia certainly are). And even more for the local people. My man or woman elected the President! For real people, not for the netsexuals, who do not play a fair game, but use a computer. There is no need for elections in Riigikogu, for a President agreed upon by the coalition and opposition can’t in general be a visionary who would carry Estonian life forward. Politics in Estonia is too fragmented for a shining leader to appeal to enough supporters.
What next? Leaders of the six Riigikogu parties should be locked into a room and not allowed to exit before white smoke is rising from a chimney of Toompea castle (similar to electing a pope). Now we can see only one name. No candidate with common sense would agree to campaign again. Then what’s the point of it all, all these frenzied debates, interviews, ponderings, considerations? All of it into the waste basket? Oh well. Horrible.
And jet: Estonia does not need a “closet-president”, someone who has been sitting and waiting for a time when all of those who have carried the incredible work load would become weak and die. To skim the cream. Collect the harvest. The way I see it, being a closet president would be exceptionally shameful. Leaders of the political parties should elect the President from among the 5 candidates who jumped through all the hoops. Everything else seems crazy. Especially for the people. The cardinals are the ones who can elect the Pope from among themselves.
Of course I find Siim Kallas, winner of the electoral body, to be the most dignified choice. But Allar Jõks also deserves the consideration. Or Mailis Reps. Or Marina Kaljurand. Or Mart Helme. Someone new would send a message: In Estonian politics, computer always wins against people and only a fool does not know that they were playing against a machine. I do believe, however, that common sense and integrity will win.