No. 12

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Choices within Ourselves

  • Helle Ruusing

    Editor-in-Chief, Information Adviser of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu

For a time this autumn, a discussion broke out in the Estonian media over the dearth of ethical and moral values in society. It struck me that I, too, have become more inured with each passing year where my social instincts are concerned.

I have started tolerating things and phenomena that should not be tolerated. Even worse, I have become more indifferent. This holds true for many of us. What else can explain the growing custom of pushing the boundaries of legal and moral norms? Unfortunately, such a practice is also widespread among the elite. It can be said that the only effective way to re-right law and justice is good laws and an effective enforcement mechanism. That said, it is not possible to use laws to regulate everything in society. Most choices are made by people guided by their consciences. The line between what is permissible and impermissible runs within ourselves. More dangerous than gaps in legislation is when that boundary within us starts shifting. That is why I believe that liberating ourselves from ethical numbness is an important task from the standpoint of society’s development.

A month after the local elections, the Riigikogu Toimetised invited politicians and political scientists to share a table and discuss the electoral behavior of the Estonian population and positions of the parties in light of the election results. In addition to the main theme of this edition of this publication – the economy – the reader will find articles on topics such as ecological tax reform, the future of the Estonian legal system, cultural policy, and civic education.

Full article in Estonian

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