A meeting took place on Wednesday in Tartu concerned with the formation of a new political party under the stewardship of Artur Talvik. Mr. Talvik, formerly of the Free Party, stepped down as leader of that party in May and left the party soon after, though remained in effect in independent member of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu), but within the Free Party parliamentary group, which he confirmed to ERR on Wednesday he had also withdrawn from.
Anzori Barkalaja, also a member of Mr. Talvik's new post-Free Party, distinctly green-leaning movement, which he hopes will blossom into a full political party, told ERR's current affairs show on Wednesday 'Aktuaalne Kaamera' that a non-profit organisation (MTÜ) had alraedy been set up for that purpose.
The new group reportedly includes well known luminaries from Estonian green politics including musician and activist Roy Strider, ecologist Rainer Kuuba, journalist Airi Hallik-Konnula, ecologist Mart Jüssi, former Green Party member Toomas Trapido and photographer Mati Kose.
Beginnings of a manifesto
This group has formed the nucleus of the proposed party and was involved in the setting up of the MTÜ entity, Mr. Barkalaja said. Since the party is focussed on on ecological and digital society approach, it requires representatives of what he deemed the 'new economy'.
"The second topic on the table at the meeting was bottom-up decision-making, meaning the country is driven by people, not parties," Mr. Barkalaja said to ERR:
''Thirdly is the education issue – the old-style assembly line in factories is being replaced by robots, so we need people to be able to find employment away from those roles being increasingly automatised," said Barkalaja.
In the context of regional policy, Mr. Barkalaja went in, the group hopes as a party to reach a balance in and strengthening of a community-based society. Objectives related with this would include cutting bureaucracy and improving technological capability, Mr. Barkalaja believes.
"We want the e-state in its truest form, which on the one hand brings the state closer to the individual but on the other allows more participatory democracy than was the case before," explained Mr. Barkalaja.
Who would vote for them?
As to the question of what type of person might vote for this new party, Mr. Barkalaja replied that this needn't be confined to any particlar sector of society, but simply those in Estonia who are society-minded.
"Any potential voter should be someone who prefers to be both self-motivating, self-governing, but one who also values the people around him, ie. the community,'' he went on.
'Certainly, a person who understands that at present the Estonian state does not venture far beyond its current methods of outsourching and decentralisation, and perhaps that it is high time to foster these new economic trends,'' Mr. Barkalaja said.
''The main factor however would be welcome support,'' he added.
Immediate goals in getting to the Riigikogu
The primary goal is however to get into a future coalition and strategies to attain this will be put in place, Mr. Barkalaja said, though he stopped short of naming a potential number of seats in the Riigikogu which the new group had in mind (Artur Talvik had previously set a target of 25 seats for his new party).
"The prediction of places is simply something of a scoreboard really. Our minimum is that we get strong enough to represent the people. We are in a strong position when it comes to forming a government," he concluded.
Editor: Andrew Whyte