We are headed into extremely complicated months. It is up to Isamaa to decide whether Estonia will meet them with a capable government or a flying circus, Lauri Läänemets writes.
It is believed that agreeing to coalition talks was an automatic decision and a brilliant opportunity for the Social Democrats. That is not the case, as the months left until elections are not enough to make fundamental political changes, while they will be extraordinarily difficult in terms of people's subsistence and national security.
Public support for the government carried by the Ukraine war will dissipate, people will find it harder to cope and it would be far safer to campaign from the opposition. However, it is clear that participating in forming the new government is the right thing to do in light of Estonia's security and the subsistence of its residents. I hope that the members and supporters of Isamaa realize as much.
I dare say this is the moment in history where having a representative, workable and experienced government that would maintain Estonia's NATO and EU course and be capable of representing our interests and expectations internationally matters most in Estonian history. I have met plenty of people in Isamaa ranks who understand this as they have personally contributed to developing allied relations and through it to national security over the last 30 years.
With this in mind – could a sane and responsible political force support the forming of a government one partner in which has openly questioned our EU membership and NATO allied relations, planned to form a Riigikogu support group for leaving the EU, and the other… simply lacks NATO security clearance necessary to access critical information in terms of national security?
The answer to this question depends on whether Isamaa really is perpetual (as the party's slogan suggests – ed.) or whether it is basically preparing to merge with the Conservative People's Party (EKRE). There is no sense in kidding ourselves, nothing about the latter has changed in the last 18 months. Centrists are still running in and out of courtrooms, while the heads of EKRE continue to rail against everything on a radio station's content marketing program.
I understand that political technicians see a benefit to restoring the EKREIKE coalition. Namely that putting the flying circus together again would fill our information space with senseless noise and endless scandals, leaving less room for real problems the Estonian people will face this fall. Draconian inflation, the cost of energy and fuel, real estate prices swelling beyond the reach of young families looking to buy their first home etc.
Administration will be anything but a walk in the park for the next government, which is something the members of the Reform Party fully realize. That is why forming a coalition with Reform and Isamaa is by no means an extraordinary opportunity or a gift from God for SDE.
We want to form this government so the country would be more or less intact after the next elections (in spring of 2023 – ed.), which is when a new and comprehensive coalition agreement could be used to make major and important changes. Dear Isamaa, this is where we see plenty of common ground, ranging from Estonian-language education to child benefits.
I understand that it is not an easy choice for Isamaa from a political point of view, and that being the only voice of reason in a coalition with EKRE and Center is tempting. But Estonia needs sensible, professional and responsible leadership in every field, not just the limited administrative area of what would be Isamaa's ministries.
Come and help us balance Estonia under Reform and protect everyone's subsistence, whether we're talking about large families, single parents or pensioners, entrepreneurs, medical workers or students who will continue Estonia's success story tomorrow.
The Social Democrats have been fully predictable again and decided not only along the lines of the preference of our voters but also the state and society at large. The days are too pivotal to resurrect the flying circus.
Editor: Marcus Turovski