Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Valimised 2007

With the new year upon us the Estonian election campaign is in full swing. Having moved back to Toronto I don't get exposed to the media blitz that I know is going on there (any big K's appearing around town?) but I do try and follow the printed press (can you still call it printed if you read only online?) and I have a pretty good idea of the current issues having lived there the past 2 years. My personal ideas are already set (sorry KESK, don't expect a vote from me) and I doubt much I'll read will alter my mind but a lot that goes on in Estonian politics still boggles my mind. If a Canadian politician tried to pull even half the stunts some "popular" eesti politicians have gotten away with they would have been chased out of town long ago, but somehow the same old crowd rears it's ugly head every election.

One of the most interesting phenomenons this year is the emergence of the political blog. Jaanus has a good post (in Estonian) about the technological and social impact of these blogs without getting into much politics. I personally stuck a couple of these blogs into my RSS reader to keep an eye on them, in particular I "enjoy" Edgar Savisaar's blog and the comments it attracts since I need a good laugh each day. The leads the question, where are the rest of the party leaders with their blogs? Laar, Ansip, and so on should all be out in the blogosphere sharing their thoughts with the people, strange that Savisaar was one of the first to get on the blog bandwagon. In the recent Toronto municipal election most candidates had blogs, myspace pages and ads on YouTube, did it make a difference in the outcome of the election? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that it can't change a few minds and for a technologically advanced country and small country like Eesti where a few votes can make a big difference I expect these things to be the norm, not the exception.

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