Samost ja Sildam: actual contribution expected from opposition

Toomas Sildam (left) and Anvar Samost.
Toomas Sildam (left) and Anvar Samost. Source: ERR

Journalists Anvar Samost and Toomas Sildam found on Vikerraadio's "Samost and Sildam" talk show that the opposition is expected to do more than just react to utterances by Mart and Martin Helme. The hosts said that the Reform Party has not managed to capitalize on proceedings of pension reform and pharmacy reform bills.

"I believe the day has come when people no longer expect the opposition leader to react to every utterance by Mart and Martin Helme and want to see something more tangible instead," Toomas Sildam said.

"And I believe the Reform Party is aware of this problem," he added.

Sildam explained that one reason for the coalition sticking together is the lack of a viable alternative. "The Reform Party seems downcast and not able to perceive the alternative, a way to come to power," Sildam said on the program.

Anvar Samost pointed to a Norstat study according to which over 40 percent of Reform Party supporters want to be free to decide whether to remain in the second pillar of pension or not.

"These people have been told by various leaders of the Reform Party that what they want is wrong for months now. That people are not able to manage their pension assets, that they make the wrong decisions in the long run and would very likely simply spend the money before reaching retirement age without the mandatory funded pension system," Samost said.

"Thinking about the Reform Party's main tenets – personal freedom, economic freedom of choice, economic independence – there has got to be quite a few Reform voters who feel that they are perhaps not appreciated for what they're capable of," the journalist said.

He also looked at the party's performance through the pharmacy reform prism. "Let us look at it through the eyes of a Reform Party voter for whom free market economy and a liberal economic model have been important. They are probably asking themselves why the party they've supported is in favor of basically locking down a major business sector with this reform. Why can't we have a free market there?" Samost reasoned.

Sildam added, pointing to the new pharmacy reform bill brought to the Riigikogu by the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) last week, that no matter how the bill will fare, EKRE will have scored the necessary points with its voters. "And the question for Reform will be that if you support a bill by EKRE that might even seem reasonable for your voters, you are allowing your opponents to draw a very long straw indeed," Sildam said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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