Palo: Reform Party drags all coalition parties down (4)
This month's party ratings showed the Social Democrats (SDE) at just 10%. Member of the party’s leadership, MP Urve Palo, believes that the coalition parties’ ratings will drop further if no serious efforts are made to curb social inequality.
After recent efforts of SDE to position itself as the main opponent of the far-right Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE), a temporary setback in terms of approval ratings had to be expected, SDE chairman and Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski said on Thursday.
Member of the party’s leadership, MP Urve Palo, said to ERR.ee that compared to the results of the last elections, all three coalition partners had lost a lot of points. The Reform Party lost 7.7%, IRL 6.7%, and SDE 5.2%.
This was an expression of discontent in the population, Palo stressed. Much else couldn’t be expected, she said, as Estonia had been the one member of the European Union where social inequality had increased the most, with the highest incomes currently 15 times the lowest.
If nothing serious was done to work against this trend, discontent would increase, and the coalition parties would drop further. Changes were needed in economic policy, in tax and regional policy, the labor market, and also in the social welfare system.
“As long as the prime minister’s party is afraid of new and intelligent solutions and stuck in old dogmas, no great leaps can be expected,” Palo said. Fine-tuning wouldn’t improve people’s lives and couldn’t get the economy growing, she added.
Going against the far right not yet reflected in the ratings
The political fight against the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE), Palo said, wasn’t yet reflected in the party ratings. Standing up against groups that wanted to shut Estonia off and incited hatred of foreigners was a longer fight, and a lot of explaining was needed to work against those trends.
There was the need to explain that insularity, hatred, and agitation weren’t the right way for Estonia, Palo said.
If it should take people longer to understand why they fought against these tendencies, then nothing could be done about that, she added. “We have to bravely and specifically stand up against this. But I don’t think this opposition is yet visible in the ratings.”