Editorial: the run is on

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Photo: Sander Ilvest

By President, Riigikogu elections are yet to be proclaimed. There’s two months plus to go till official campaigning period kicks in on January 21st. But the waiting is beyond the parties to bear.

Coalition leading the way, the pre-elections campaign engine has been resoundingly started: who would have missed the fireworks of messages, slogans and visuals this week – aimed to pull the swing voter into party net.

With a loose brush, Reform paints its «Kindlalt edasi!» – Firmly Forward? – as backdrop to shoes worn by Taavi Rõivas stepping along an airstrip. The movement, the motion, the dynamics, the marching-on mood... with a recycled message.  These very words, you see, were used by Isamaaliit or Pro Patria Union (now part of IRL) at local elections in 2005. Even so, the idea is so universal as to advertise whoever/whatever. Herewith, it is said in the name of keeping Reform Party in power and played on preservative instincts in people – displaying the marked difference with all kinds or «amateurs» or coteries otherwise suspicious who might pull the state in some stupid direction. Also in 2011 the squirrels sounded the same – «Võid kindel olla!» [Rest Assured? – edit]. Let’s think ahead to 2019, shall we – «Ikka veel kindlalt?» i.e. Still Assured?

While Reformers are doing their usual style, the coalition buddy soc dems managed a bona fide splash. Posters downtown with the writers like Anton Hansen Tammsaare, Eduard Vilde, Friedebert Tuglas etc send many a shoulder shrugging – what have these historic figures do with the soc dem stuff in Estonia of  2014/2015? Insecure, perhaps: trying to instil in our conservative nation the understanding that the soc dems are no strange postmodernist invention importing western decadence – here we’ve got some solid Estonian soc dem guys ploughing our political fields in times past. Perhaps, some voter angered by the gay bill will relent by beholding Mr Tammsaare? True to the trend, Truth and Justice («Tõde ja õigus») by said author was recited in the park named after the man.  

Centre Party has yet to thunder its cannons. Thankfully, they are underlined in street view with posters of «Savisaar» the musical. And the bus campaign content to simply showcase nice youthful faces. This is an obvious necessity – the centrists long lacking in updates and fresh blood, the image needs a facelift. In the typical Centre Party manner, all is legally correct as if. Turns out, use of Tallinn public transportation for elections ads makes some opponents think this is wrong. But hold your horses! The Centre Party faces are naturally no elections advertisement, this is pure «publicity campaign».

Why not hope that once the initial shots have been fired some issues of substance are offered for debates. Name a few? Taxes. Security. Energy. Etc.