Kallas: Reform Party should turn back towards liberal values (1)
According to Estonian member of the European Parliament, Kaja Kallas, the Reform Party has become more conservative in recent years, but now as part of the opposition has the chance to move back towards its original liberal values.
Kallas said in Vikerraadio’s “Uudis+” news magazine that the party now had the opportunity to consider what would face Estonia in the future, and what the ideas are that would take it forward. Without the pressure of needing to remain in power, things would get clearer, and this was necessary, Kallas added.
Looking at how the party had developed over the years, it couldn’t be ignored that it had become more and more conservative, Kallas agreed. That Reform had managed to stay in power for as long as it did was connected to conservative positions rather than its liberalism.
“I find that now being in opposition there’s the possibility to still turn back to our liberal substance. This means defending freedoms in the broadest sense, but in detail for example the defense of minorities, economic freedoms, all of which are liberal topics. In this sense perhaps there really is less support for these ideas, but at least you’re sure and clear about your values,” Kallas said.
In matters of social policy the party now had the opportunity to discuss the situation, and untangle all of the topics surrounding for instance the new reality of work, and how social protection can be provided at all. “This doesn’t mean that we’ll be more social than the Social Democrats some day, but we should discuss how the weakest can be protected in a free liberal society,” Kallas said.
About the party’s upcoming chairmanship and leadership elections, Kallas said that Hanno Pevkur would bring a new leadership culture, while in Michal’s case past scandals may become a liability for the party.
“There are two candidates, both have their strengths and weaknesses, but in my assessment Hanno Pevkur would have the chance to do things differently, lead the party differently, maybe in a more open way, maybe also including people in the regions,” Kallas said.