Well, things aren’t that great between Estonia and its eastern neighbor these days. They are almost not “stable” as the Estonian Foreign Ministry purports them to be. Then again, that webpage was last updated on Nov. 21.
Taking a long hard look at this situation, I have to wonder — why is it 2007 and Estonia and Russia’s greatest argument is still what happened over 60 years ago? I don’t wish to trivialize history, but a simple perusing of news items gives one this thought: is the Estonia of Skype, and voting online, and the flat tax the same Estonia as the one that’s locked in a bitter row over fascism and other deceased 20th century ideologies?
There is no doubt that the rightwing parties – the Isamaa-Res Publica Union and the Reform Party, as well as the Social Democrats – benefit from heightened tension with Russia. And what is the alternative? Edgar Savisaar and the Center Party that has an agreement with United Russia? Yeah, right.
There is one party in Estonia that is actually new and doesn’t boast a Savisaar or a Reiljan or a Mart Laar or an Andrus Ansip. Their guy is Marek Standberg and he likes to be photographed riding his bike. The Green Party’s central issue – the environment – is a welcome addition to a debate which is about history and graves and tallying who killed who. On the flipside, I have heard that the Greens are also trying to posture as yet another “center-right” party. And that leaves again with the same old situation – there is no left wing party in Estonia.
The Center Party? Well, they’re always at the center, you see. The Reform Party? They aren’t done reforming. Isamaa? They love the fatherland. The Social Democrats? They have catchy slogans. For whom can a voter that happens to care about other things more than debating history with the nasty neighbor vote? I don’t know. But I am getting really tired of discussing the 20th century. Thank God we’re in a new one.