No. 9




101 Estonian political cartoons

  • Aare Kasemets

    Aare Kasemets

    Editor-in-Chief of Riigikogu Toimetised issues 1–3

  • Eiki Berg

    University of Tartu professor ordinarius of theory of international relations

The idea of selecting the year’s best political cartoons and assembling a traveling exhibition was born in 1999, when Riigikogu chancellery began planning the setting up of the Journal of Estonian Parliament, Riigikogu Toimetised.

We found that the articles by politicians, officials, sociologists and leaders of NGO needed a pictorial feature that would cover political events in society like a bulletin board, that would not need further commentary. Along with newspaper opinion editors, political cartoonists keep a watchful eye on political power and pretenders to political power, and assessors of political cartoons keep tabs on cartoonists. Estonian politicians and their families can take solace in the fact that compared to the tabloid cartoons of Western Europe and the US, Estonian papers tend to have a softer, more human touch. This year, the process of selecting the 101 best political cartoons out of more than 1500 from seven Estonian papers went smoothly, thanks to efforts of volunteers. Ultimately, political cartoon aficionados could rejoice over the works of 11 cartoonists that made it to the traveling exhibition. Grand prize in 2003 went to Eesti Päevaleht political cartoonist Hillar Mets for “The Prime Minister’s first day at work,” which depicted Juhan Parts being confused by callers with then-outgoing PM and current European commissioner Siim Kallas.