No. 2




Political Support and Legitimacy of the Power

31 October 2000


RiTo No. 2, 2000

The article mainly analyses the political attitudes of the Estonian population on the basis of assessments in public opinion polls, as well as concrete participation in political activity. The central theoretical notions discussed in the article are specific and general political support, trust, and legitimacy of the power.

The article also touches upon the importance of public opinion in today’s Estonia and the objectives that the Riigikogu Chancellery has set for sociological surveys.

The empirical analysis presented here was made on the basis of the data deriving from the public opinion survey “The State and the People” carried out in October 1999 by the social and market polling company Saar Poll. The results showing the people’s political attitudes have been presented as two-dimensional frequency divisions. Assessments expressing specific support or assessments directed at political institutions and power-holders display a clear tendency towards the negative end. However, the majority of the respondents have a positive attitude towards the state and its future, thereby displaying sufficient political trust.

With the help of logistical regression analysis, an attempt was made to confirm or reject the hypothesis that people’s political activity is connected with their opinions and assessments of the political situation. Apart from a few exceptions, the hypothesis found no proof.

In conclusion, some perspectives and versions have been presented that might help to bring the citizens and the state closer to each other and promote participatory democracy in the future17.

Full article in Estonian

Liina Kirsipuu, born 1978, sociologist, University of Tartu, BA studies in sociology 1996-2000. Work: apprenticeship period at the economic and social information department of the Riigikogu Chancellery October 1999 – February 2000; Citizenship and Migration Board, Chief Specialist of Public Relations 2000-.