Editorial: the laws of nature governing politics

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This past Saturday, IRL picked social minister Margus Tsahkna (38) as its new chairman, to succeed justice minister Urmas Reinsalu (39). A week before, Riigikogu member Jevgeni Ossinovski (29) rose to be top soc dem before whom defence minister Sven Mikser (41) opted to bow out.

And before that, Reform was unanimous to give prime minister Taavi Rõivas (35) a lease to continue leading the party. Last year, the latter emerged to sit in chair vacated by Andrus Ansip (58), though in reality his luck was European commissioner Siim Kallas (66) running back to Brussels.

Spot a pattern? Sure, the essential IRL shift already happened as Mart Laar (55) passed the baton; and among Soc Dems as Jüri Pihl (61) surrendered to Mr Mikser. Did anybody earnestly believe for Jaan Männik (70) to now arise as IRL leader?

A glance at the parliamentary parties shows us a situation rather interesting: the average age of the three governing party chiefs is 34.4 years. Meanwhile, the three opposition parties are chaired by guys averaging 61.1 (!). Not quite twice as much, but close. Two are 65 – Edgar Savisaar and Mart Helme – and the lead Free Andres Herkel (52) is rather ancient as compared to power trio boys.

On how Kadri Simson (38) never seems to grab the Centre wheel, a grand play has been put on by a theatre; the totally conservative EKRE is mainly spoken for by Martin Helme (39), not his dad.

In management of any organisation, generation change is a sensitive issue indeed, while impossible to be postponed forever. Sooner or later, nature takes its toll. That’s life: one day one’s Europe’s youngest PM, but the years go rolling by and now one sits writing his memoirs. A lesson also for the top guns freshly picked: the figures beginning with «two» or «three» are swift to pass by.

Quite natural, come to think of it, that in politics (as in any field) seats are found for folks of all ages. And, in a society of rising average age, how foolish would it be to cast aside the wisdom and experience the elders have accumulated. In politics, enthusiasm and brightness of eyes do come in handy, especially at elections, but often – think: tough moments in history – others factors often come to play.