Inter-electoral work determines the result
Riigikogu Toimetised invited politicians and political observers to take part in a discussion about the election of the 11th Riigikogu on 21 May and the campaign that preceded the elections.
The participants in the conversation circle were Meelis Atonen (Reform Party), Mart Laar (Pro Patria and Res Publica Union), Eiki Nestor (Social Democratic Party) and Ain Seppik (Centre Party) as well as the political science scholar Anu Toots (Tallinn University) and media expert Tarmu Tammerk (Estonian correspondent for Agence France-Presse). The participants agreed that compared to the previous parliamentary elections, this time the election campaign was markedly more peaceable and cordial, yet also more commercial and costly. They did not condemn the commercialism as such, finding rather that if parties were able to better bring their ideas to the electorate by spending on advertising services, the campaign would be more substantial and professional. This undoubtedly also has an effect on how active voters are. Before the elections it was thought that participation would be very low this year, but the 62% turnout exceeded all forecasts. The politicians believed that the increasing popularity of online voting also played a role in raising the turnout, as it helps get out a larger youth vote. It was thus found that if Estonia wants to increase electoral participation, it will have to continue to deal with broadening opportunities for and popularizing early voting.