Editorial: travelling on, in discomfort and political reality

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Photo: Urmas Nemvalts

This one thing she got wrong. Having stepped down in anger, business minister Urve Palo slammed this govt a «coalition of convenience». Nothing comfy here, even for Reform.

Meanwhile, considering the political reality, the combination might still be the best we have – containing a measure of balance due to the differing world views.  

While Soc Dems did vote for the coalition to continue, the large number of no-votes would point at obvious discontent. But then, discontent has been a constant travelling companion of the Reform, IRL and Soc Dems troika from the very start. No wonder that political commentators christened them Hesitation Coalition.  

«Difficult team, very difficult,» a government party chief said this spring, privately and after the elections. Sighing deeply. Indeed. However one would calculate, only two majority coalitions are an option – this present one, or Reform/Centre. Had Soc Dems stepped out, that may have happened. Because while soc dems, Centre and the small (Free, EKRE) might bring the government down, they would be too feeble to govern.

From time to time, as political tensions arise – like with opposition enjoying lasting popularity or the share of those disappointed in politics increases – early elections are mentioned. For whatever weighty reason, it is still to happen during our regained independence. In the current situation, neither Reform nor IRL nor Soc Dems would have anything to gain from a fresh round of voting.

What now? Having risen to be chief soc dems by promising to open the coalition treaty, Jevgeni Ossinovski can save face by inserting some points and nuances. As Urve Palo stepped down, the govt will undergo a change. Mr Ossinovski has said he grabs some portfolio. Considering the Port of Tallinn corruption case, more than one minister might get replaced. Inside soc dem ranks, one might predict some scuffles while Mr Ossinovski’s fresh mandate should suffice to settle these.  

Yesterday, Centre said the soc dems had a chance to change something but «the same old prevailed». That’s political labelling. As then soc dems chairman Jüri Pihl got beaten by Sven Mikser in 2010, he said the soc dems would now become a convenience party. Quite the opposite has proven true. Remembering: with Mr Mikser at helm, SDE soon stepped out of Tallinn power coalition with Centre – where, with Mr Pihl as chief, they’d been a truly convenient comrade.

Cartoon: Hey, Urve, be easy on that mantle... Might try it out myself.