No. 5




The People’s Awareness of the Riigikogu

14 June 2002


RiTo No. 5, 2002

Trust in the Riigikogu is tied to how informed people are of that institution. Ignorance breeds a feeling of vagueness and a desire to let things just go as they will. The article looks at how people’s level of consciousness of the Riigikogu’s work and duties has changed, where they get their information from or prefer to get it from, and whether they consider the coverage of the Riigikogu satisfactory.

The analysis mainly uses Saar Poll surveys in the “State and nation” series from 1995 ordered by the Riigikogu Chancellery.

It emerges from the surveys that the number of people with confidence in the Riigikogu has decreased year on year. A nadir was reached in 2001, when only 36% had faith in the parliament. What can we do to make the public have more confidence?

The best possibility is considered informative programs on state programs in public broadcasting. 57% of the population shares this position. Another recommendation is including experts and academics in the making of state decisions. 42% of respondents saw the law on public information as a solution.

How much are people interested in the Riigikogu’s activity? About 37% of respondents feel the need to be better informed (2000 data). People with a higher education have the greatest desire to be informed, at 50%. Of people with secondary or lower education, only 31%, with a fifth not having any interest.

Thus it behooves the Riigikogu Chancellery, as the structure serving the Riigikogu, and every individual MP to inform the population in a more active and person-centred manner about the Riigikogu’s work. The parliament has to step up cooperation with schools to inform students of the state and legislation in civics classes and also opportunities to shape one’s future. One step closer to the people was taken this spring with the opening of an information centre.

Full article in Estonian