Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Early Onset S.A.D.

I don't suppose anyone should be surprised that the Juhi Nagu Ansip thing is a Keskerakond creation, although I am a bit underwhelmed by the text content in the Estonian version. The silly season has started again, a full year before the next relevant election - local councils will get their reshuffle on October 18th next year. Before that we have the EU parliamentary elections in the summer. That's essentially an opportunity for senior political figures to get kicked upstairs. A soft landing for people you really don't want to be messing around with local politics any more.



Ansip's support is down massively. I think the only thing keeping him in power right now is momentum, and the mutual hatred between Savisaar and Laar. Ansip got into the top seat almost by accident, as the minority PM in a mostly KERA cabinet, after Res Publica finally shat itself; he was acceptable because he was irrelevant on the scene up to that time, drawn from the party list after Siim Kallas took his alleged ten-million-dollar ass down to Brussels. No coalition with Savisaar as the Prime Minister would have been tolerated then, and none will be now, but there's no way in almighty fuck that Edgar will be the number two to Mart Laar.



Meanwhile it has been less than two years since the parliamentary elections, and Ansip has squandered away not only his own mandate, but the credibility of the Reform party as well. Part of his support was the anti-Russia vote, but Reform are the blokes we turn to when the economy needs to be sorted. The balanced budget was a landmark, and failing to get one done for 2009 is a failure in what people entrusted the governing party to do. We don't care what sort of creative regulation or back-room wrangling with EU commissioners you need to do: we just want to cast our vote and have you lot sort it. When the real estate market imploded, the initial reaction was they had it coming. Estonians love their Schadenfreude, and seeing developers and speculators lose their shirts made us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Plus there was a chance we'd all afford better homes now. But then the world financial system imploded, and suddenly it's all doom and gloom. Estonia is still in a far better position to survive the crisis than a lot of New Europe (and some of Old, in fact), but Reform was supposed to sprinkle their magic fairy dust and allow this country to fiddle while the rest of the world's economy burned. Without that, it's time to start playing "Pin the tail on the squirrel".



Meanwhile I'm hoping that Edgar will run for MEP, and if he does, I am absolutely not kidding, I will vote for him. The existence of the Centrist party as an object of shared hatred is necessary to the balance of Estonian politics, but those people really need to get rid of Great Uncle and start thinking about a platform. Savisaar has aged badly, and seems to be accelerating in his decline into the sort of dementia last seen in the early-80s parade of short-lived Secretary Generals of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Hardly a day goes by without Edgar or one of his lieutenants doing a Nelson Muntz impression. YOU'RE NOT HELPING! Opposition needs to be constructive, and the only words coming out of Edgar's mouth when inflation spiked were "let's borrow money and spend it, and that will make everything better"; shortly followed by the howlingly moronic plan to institute special grocery shops where people will be able to buy food at a discount, compensated by the municipal budget. Yes, that's right: Edgar's suggestion for people not having enough money to buy food is to take people's money and pay a lot of bureaucrats to hand some of the money back to them. Seriously: go suck on a Werther's Original.

Again, opposition needs to be constructive, not malicious. The electorate already has malice covered.

5 comments:

AndresS said...

I'd probably vote for Savisaar for MEP as well, anything to get him out of Eesti. :)

Giustino said...

Ansip's support is down massively.

I like to blame him for everything. Try it. It's fun. "It's raining again today, Ansip. Why is it raining again? You promised us sunshine."

after Siim Kallas took his alleged ten-million-dollar ass down to Brussels.

He is very well dressed. For an Estonian. (hah)

The existence of the Centrist party as an object of shared hatred is necessary to the balance of Estonian politics, but those people really need to get rid of Great Uncle and start thinking about a platform.

Both Laar and Savisaar should relinquish control to subordinates. Then we'll move beyond their cults of personality (buy my new book! believe everything I say!) and force the parties to develop stronger platforms.

Imagine, if you will, a contest between Juhan Parts and, say, Kalle Laanet. How would that play out? It would have to be more political, because visceral hatred of Savisaar (or Laar -- some people don't like him either) would not be enough to win/lose the election.

Flasher T said...

I would far prefer Laar to Parts. Laar's big-head phase seemed to be limited to the history handbook that has been relegated to cult status (although few people have ever seen it). Parts is another one of those people who need to shut the fuck up. Laar has, at least, learned the value of standing to the side and letting his opponents impale themselves.

Giustino said...

Laar has, at least, learned the value of standing to the side and letting his opponents impale themselves.

Ah, but as secretive party boss, he could let opponents within his own party impale themselves.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) said...

My first thought was disagree on the grounds that budget balancing is too complex issue for the voters to grasp, but after seeing Veskimägi making it simple in TV politics satire Erisaade by saying classique "paneme ennast põlema" I tend to agree with you

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