Friday, January 26, 2007


Last week was rather hectic and I did not have a time to finish the last entry. I shall come back to the topic of democratic transition and the US support of democratization another time. However, this time I just want to update on where I am, and what do I do.

First, I was flying Rynair to Tampere this Tuesday and using VR services to make it to the PhD seminar in Helsinki. There was a lot of snow in Tampere and stayed with Indrek & Minna and sauna oli ihanaa! Stayed at Mikko&Hanna in Helsinki, and thank You for the hospitality again! In addition saw Saemus and little Denis again, thus one day there will be party in Cork indeed:)

Flew back to Riga yesterday and had to report on latest developments in Latvia to the Estonian radio Plc. Students have been busy bringing delayed essays (in the last moment obviously!) and planning of the next year teaching modules already takes place. Hectic, hectic, hectic.

Today's Diena reports that Latvian transport supremo is planning to have his First (FP) and Latvian Way party amalgamation congress this weekend. Is it any news? Not really, if not to notice that he has broken the ice and announced that FP also suports amendmends of Latvian electoral law, thus allowing also non-citizens to vote in municipal elections.

It is a reasonable proposal if not a bit populistic. Such proposal was impossible in the early 1990's, however now Mr Slesers reckons that the time is ripe. Ok, but Mr Slesers and other members of Latvian political elite, remember, that you can use the positive example of Estonian electoral law rationally - Estonian electoral law stipulates, that non-citizen population who resides in Estonia for certain number of years can participate in municipal elections, but elected into municipal councils can be only Estonian citizens. It means that non-citizens cannot be elected!

A good debate could ensue from all this, although with over-heated economy and rumours of FP joining forces with the Reconciliation Party might bring government crisis into Latvia. Shall see upcoming days, because first things first, and Russian-Latvian border agreement must be pushed through parliamentary debates.

Good, and I am leaving for Otepae toninght to see the cross-country World Cup races. Shall come back on Sunday to have the last seminar with the MA students here in Riga. In the meantime - go Eesti!

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