Estonian Local Election Campaign: Results and Evaluation

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Estonian Greens. A look into the 2009 election campaign in Tallinn       

1. From the campaign to the elections
2. The positives of the election campaign
3. What went wrong?
4. Suggestions for the future      

Preparing for the elections       

Estonian GreensIt first had to be decided, which candidates and which list of names would be taken to the elections. For ethical reasons, it was agreed that the Estonian Green Party would not put out candidates solely on the grounds of popularity. Members of the parliament were therefore not candidates, since, even if elected, they would not have been not allowed to take on additional functions. Compared to the other parties, who used well-known parliamentarians (or other high-profile figures) to attract votes, the Greens therefore were at a disadvantage.       

Our candidates were offered places on the lists of the ‘Reform Party’ and the ‘Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica’, but the Greens had already decided to take part in the elections with their own Green candidate list. The parties we chose not to merge with turned against us, and we were prevented from participating in televised debates (on ETV). From this moment onwards, the ‘Greens’ were hardly ever mentioned by other candidates or politicians – this hostility continues today.       

We accepted certain members of the ‘United People’s Party’ on our lists, for they shared similar goals to us, and helped to strengthen the Green line-up. A final list was agreed upon, which included 23 of their names.        

The Candidates’ List
In Tallinn, the Greens’ only full list of candidates was made with 89 candidates applying for 79 places: 65 Greens and United People’s Party candidates, along with 13 non-Party candidates and one Estonian Christian Democrat. (Estonian Greens: 42 candidates, United Peoples Party: 23, Non-Party: 23, Estonian Christian Democrats: 1).       

The Greens put a lot of effort into ringing up all of the candidates to find the most suitable ones and to piece together the Tallinn election programme. In search of candidates, not only did we look in our own ranks, we also advertised in the city newspaper, as the Finish Greens had done in Finland. Advertising and bringing the people closer to the party is good for our image and sends out a positive signal to citizens.       

Estonian Greens are delivering the candidate list

Estonian Greens are delivering the candidate list

The programme ‘A Green Promise’ was created after much discussion. It took a lot of time to agree, but the results were extremely satisfying. The programme initially covered 17 points, with titles such as ‘Green Tallinn’, ‘Green Childhood’, ‘Green Transport’, and so on, but it evolved into a 28-point well thought out election platform.       

Election results
In the Tallinn elections of 18 October 2009, we received 4,655 votes (2.1%), compared to a total of 7,774 (1.1%) across the country. Our share of the vote in Tallinn was therefore twice as high as the national average, but we fell short of the 5% needed. Tallinn’s Green Party candidates received 3,044 votes (65%) and the United People’s Party candidates received 1605 votes (35%).     

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  1. Eloise 07/10/2011 at 17:37 | Permalink |

    Superb information here, ol’e chap; keep burning the mindhgit oil.