Chancellor of Justice: New wave of populism in Estonia (11)
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise said on ETV’s “Vabariigi Kodanikud” on Tuesday that a new wave of populism was rising in Estonia. Recent world events were perceived as threatening by many, and clearly influencing Estonian society. People’s attitudes were getting more extreme, their view of the world more black and white. The program discussed whether this trend was worrying, or part of a democratic process.
Madise said that Estonia was facing a new wave of populism and that populism, just as radicalization, came in different shapes.
“When extreme views get enough support that their representatives get elected to parliament, populism is often what people point to. But populist approaches aren’t just with those who want to make it to parliament and need a way to get attention. Everybody does it, which could be seen before the elections, when experts found populist elements in all the parties’ slogans and stories,” the Chancellor said.
“But what are we currently seeing in Estonia? We’re seeing that there are several forces that say they know what the people want, and that the people are united in their will. I don’t know if anyone has a family all members of which always want one and the same thing.” Madise also went on to say that there was no such thing as a united and singular will of the people, and that this view was the hallmark of populism.
She also added that direct democracy was being praised as the be-all and end-all again and presented in overly simple terms. What was really on the rise was the tale that soon everything would collapse, and that a big crisis was coming or had arrived already, not so much extremism.