ERR Opinion Editor: Election Was Win for Politics, Loss for Democracy
Rain Kooli took a dark view of the election results in a piece for uudised.err.ee, saying that the worst part was the eight-point drop in turnout compared to the 2009 European election (36 percent this year compared to 44 percent then).
"Those who should be responsible for bringing the EU closer to Estonians and making it understandable have not quite succeeded," he writes, saying the media is partly to blame.
Like almost all observers, Kooli saw the Reform Party as the evening's victor. But unlike, for instance, ERR News, he also saw the Social Democrats as having done well, managing to join "the hunt for the bronze" after a poor showing in October at local elections. (It is true that, although they finished fourth, the Social Democrats did well broadly, beating the third-place IRL and second-place Center in most counties and winning in Võru County.)
Both Reform and SDE gained 19,000 and 10,000 votes compared to 2009, although fewer voted this time, Kooli points out.
Independent candidate Indrek Tarand shed many voters in his second campaign as an independent, but still finished fifth overall, not far from SDE: Kooli says his success and that of media figure Tanel Talve (10,000 votes) shows that Estonians like "cool guys," jesters and entertainers who are always ready with a joke or prank.
Kooli gives the Conservative People's Party an honorable mention and attributes their relatively solid (for a non-Parliament party) 4.03 percent vote to the debating skills of the leading face of the party's campaign efforts, Martin Helme.
The Center Party was the biggest loser in these elections, Kooli writes.