Editorial: the pre-elections state of mindlessness

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Photo: Urmas Nemvalts

Last week was spiced with strange things that happen as people in parliament get all elated about getting elected again. At times, calls have been made for them quit the sessions at campaign time – unavoidably, it all boils over with populism and attempts to shine forth. On the other hand, however, why grant folks at Toompea the privilege? Work on, honourable ladies and gentlemen, just as the other candidates for the most part do.

Take the «quick loan law», for instance. (It does have a longer name, but basically it’s about setting some limits to how much lenders may milk the simple.) The law ought to have passed easily, as no party has ever positioned itself against. A bolt from the blue, though: the yes-votes went narrowly lacking.

Strangely, the Riigikogu gets into a pre-elections cramp of sorts – how else will one call a situation when a bunch of power party deputies are not voting but out campaigning, and some «in the house» but late to press the button. And the opposition is just delighted to at least to get to flush something. Who cares the content wasn’t really debated. By now, the bill is up again for vote, but why the embarrassment?

Meanwhile, a marvellous unity is displayed when some work needs to be postponed or avoided. Like the Riigikogu proposing that the government formulate a law about national Maintenance Allowance Act, one to start working as early as 2016. The idea we know: if a parent living separately will not pay alimonies to support a child, let the state pay and deal with the avider. The principle is in use in many a country. This manoeuvre by the parliament, however, was pure pre-elections show. Instead of formulating a project of a bill with content, a month before the elections they up and trumpet: let the government get it done. Naturally, the coalition-to-be would have no problem moving along with the thing, without any such decision. The decision essentially being: let’s push this beyond the elections.