Sunday, June 7, 2009

After elections (updated)

Life will go on after elections even though I was not elected in the European parliament this time. Many thanks to all he supporters and people who endorsed me. Its midnight and I have to catch up with certain tasks being delayed due to the elections campaign. Estonian daily asked opinion piece about the EP & municipal elections in Latvia, and tomorrow I would follow with my own reflections in English.
I did not have time to write my evaluation of election results yet. There is certain post-election blues feeling in Latvia and latest announcements of the government are not encouraging at all! First, the Prime Minister came with an announcement about budget cuts (Ls506 400 000 in 2009, and about the same sums also in 2010, 2011, 2012!!!!) day after elections, thus deservedly earning ranting of traditionally reserved former president Vaira Vike Freiberga. Second, the Minister of Finance contrary to his and his party´s earlier announcements came out with a scandalous announcement yesterday about plans to abolish the mandatory income declaration system for Latvian politicians as it exists now! This news was immediately picked up by the Diena columnist Pauls Raudseps. He concluded that if the government cannot implements the system of financial control over the expenses of officials now, when the PM overlooks the work of Corruption Prevention bureau (KNAB) and the Minister of Finance oversees the work of Latvian Revenues Service, then when would they?
The latter news make me sad but in the meantime relieved about my decision last year to leave ranks of ``New Era`` party. How unfortunate news these are, but I still hope that the proposed consultations among New Era, Civic Union and Society for Different Politics would bear some fruit, and we could be united prior upcoming parliamentary elections. Until then there will be a lot of consultations and trying to downplay unusually high self-esteems of some Latvian politicians. Political environment in Latvian could be characterized as middle class anarchy now, and Gatis Sluka had a similar view on the present situation:)

Text in Latvian: ``Everything is gonna be alright!``


Anonymous said...


In all seriousness-
what are the options for avarige Latvian midle class person?

Businesses are dieing out like dinosours during the ice age. Former warm spots- state finenced positions seem to be unstable. And at the end of the day- only thing that Einars & the two Valdis'es
can say that more budget cuts in fallowing three years.

BUT I haven't heart any middle long term strategies- which economic fields would be those that would evantually pull Latvia out of the crisis?

What do You say in general- what should be done?

PS Congrats on the elections- man, wtf happened? City council in hands of friends of Rubiks and wizards of the Jurmalgate...

Wannabe Sorosieši said...

Dearest Anonymous!

Who can answer that question? We are not given access to the information that would, in any way, allow us (the public/society) to formulate rational responses or even to frame the problem. It is like one of those Russian nested dolls, where we never quite get to the core doll.

Can anyone say, exactly what the crisis is? How can we suggest solutions until we actually have an inclusive conversation about what the problem(s) is/are?


Veiko Spolitis said...

Anonymous & Tom:

To my mind the best middle term strategy would be for the government first, to start implementing structural reforms transparently, and second, cutting remuneration of the top notch civil servants and ministers equally and thus being solidary with massive cuts for the teachers, policemen, nurses, doctors and other folks beeing paid from taxpayers purse. Without solidarity among the rulers and ruled I foresee that folks would be on streets!

Yesterdays´s (June 10) KNL very vividly showed it - more than 6700 people (absolute majority) considered that the best way to solve the problems Latvia is facing today is by taking to the streets and demonstrating....And the reason for the wish to take streets is the fact that government attitude is still smug, and the anemie in the society unfortunately is entrenching. New elections obviously stands as another option, and only God knows how the president Zatlers wants to act (he also should feel solidarity with his people and agree on cutting his salary, entourage, and extravagant lifestyle of his madam:)

Anonymous said...

Tom, I am sorry for You if You are unable to trace the origins of crisis. I am really not talking about all the conspiracy theories of 10 persons pupeting the whole world, but rather about pragmatic politico economy based aproach.

Veiko, revolts and new elections- how come that a guy like You advocates those things when stability and mutual understanding, I would say, are almost as cruicial as corect governmental policies. Yeah, more transparency, more communication with civic society.. However, more drama would not cause any good at this stage. And than on the other hand- I really do not believe that the government should bring their discussion of budget cuts out into Esplanade so that everyone in public space can give their coments on those things. 500 m right after elections was a slap in the face, but "kurš gan cits.." if not those who are already there.

I might understand that You are a bit sad, that SCP still doe not have its peace of pie, but.. I do not think that just because of little SCP involment there should be early elections as long as SCP gets what it wants. My suggestion- drop idea of revolts and early elections or change Your party to one that is more exposed to power.

Veiko Spolitis said...

Dear anonymous:

With due respect to your "realpolitik" way of thinking I do not agree with you in certain points.

First, SCP is just a part in the puzzle what is caled the consolidation process of the wider Latvian political landscape. Second, whilst having almost no monies and advertising campaign the results of SCP in both elections was commendble.

Obviously SCP has no justification for its average performance in the elections, but at least we are adamant enough to accept the mistakes and move forward.

" You said - My suggestion- drop idea of revolts and early elections or change Your party to one that is more exposed to power."

Who said SCP IS FOR revolts and early elections?

Again, the revolt idea is utter nonsense and the call for revolt pinpoints to corruption of the channels of communication in the parliamentary democracy. And the early election is obvious way out for society that has lost trust in its rulers, and for parliamentary democracy to regain the legitimacy usually snap elections are called.

Latvia is somewhere between parliamentary democracy and oligarchy, thus the neverending game between push and pull factors for snap elections:)

There are forthcoming negotiations between SCP, PS and JL. Wait and see:)

Anonymous said...

Well, consolidation and SCP, PS and JL talks.. Ok, fine. However Your proposal of early elections I see as an obsticle in these talks. What other governmental composition and strategies would You suggest than? No PP and SCP instead?

Sorry, mate, but I can not see reason in this. And I do not think that there is any resonable ground to early elections. You say- lack of trust? Well, I do not think that any government would enjoy high support rate in Latvia at this moment.

I can understand that You see yourself as a critic and active member of tiny Latvian civic sociaty, however Your constant call for early elections (what is it now? 2 years since You have been suggesting this) is some what wierd.

Fail of SCP.. No justification, will learn from mistakes, low budget (like Your leader is not a millionaire :D).. Ok, fine. Except that- don t You think that this isn t exactly the right time to fail?

Veiko Spolitis said...

Dear Anonymous:

You have reached the tipping point where I do not understand your questions anymore. If you want to have a real discussion to procceed then come out of the closet at least. If not, I have problems to understand your questions you posted in your last comment:)

Anonymous said...

Not to worry. The questions are there just because I am also struggling to see Your reason.

But enough for that. I still haven t heard from You what policy alternatives You would propose. And all I hear is trust, legitimacy..

It ain t government that people trust- it is their policies that they believe in.

Give me at least one clear policy direction that You would have done differently- how would You decrease budget deficit, what would You do with national currency? Or at least tell me which of their policies failed?

Just don t say that You would like to have more transparent discussion of budget amendments, more communication with civic society etc. Give me an example of some clear dicissions that have to be made in order give Latvian economy achance to survive more years than in the beginning of 20th century.

Give me brief plan of action and You ve a chance of having my vote for SCP in early elections.

Of course You wouldn t..

I have decided to stay under cover therefore obviously this is the end of fake discusion and no real discussion would fallow.


Baltic Ring said...


We have just launched a website called "Baltic Ring".
The purpose is to list the best of the websites and blogs who's topic is one of the Baltic States.
We would be pleased to count you as one of our first members.
You can read few lines about project here :

Thanks for your time


Veiko Spolitis said...


Sure, no problem, go ahead!


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