Winning local elections – ways to measure success
The Riigikogu Toimetised gathered politicians and political scientists for a round table discussion on electoral behaviour of the Estonian people and political parties’ place in politics, in light of the local government council s elections, held on 16 October.
Meelis Atonen (Reform Party), Evelyn Sepp (Central party), Mart Nutt (Pro Patria) represented the politicians; Allan Sikk (Tartu University) and Anu Toots (Tallinn University) represented political scientists.
The biggest problem in connection with the election results was that during the last local government elections the right to vote was exercised by only 47% of the electors, which is 5.5% less than in 2002. The electoral activity had the greatest decline in the large cities, which indicated that people were more satisfied with the way democracy operated in smaller local governments than in the cities. The part of the voters, which have not exercised their right to vote for some time already, should become a target group for politicians in the next elections. The other issue discussed was how to measure success in the local elections and how justified was to talk about national success during the elections, especially since power was gained in a concrete local government. In addition to these topics, the issues of electoral unions, E-voting, amending the Electoral Act and polarized party system were discussed.