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About 10% of voters are former "aliens". Aliens are allowed to vote in local elections, but the problem, from Russian minority, agenda, is coming from the national level. Memorial debacle is an example: people, electorate and authorities of Tallinn were against dismantling, but the decision was made by national parliament. BTW, on local level Russian is used, but there is a problem with pressure on Russian schools and media.

Russian parties seem to be on the out: there are two of them (not a good idea, given 5% national parliament barrier), to squabble, let the private interests run amok, did nothing about closing of the Russian TV channel, the Russian Radio station and a newspaper.

So in recent elections Russian vote went to the Centrist party of Savisaar, which has European views on minority rights. This potentially makes the Centrist party less likely to blocked with, so, when expedient, they mute the aliens issue.

Problems are not going to be solved with more representation, it's more an issue of political culture and spirit: xenophobic and nationalist rhetoric is accepted from politicians, fact that decisions affecting schools and language commissions worsening the situation are pushed  from national level without consultations with the minority, discrimination in wages and positions, no dialog with minorities, educational policies and staffing that caused higher education rates for Estonians and aliens, equal in Soviet times, now differ two fold.

Today's Estonian biggest newspaper opines on Russians: Unknown Bastard.

by blackhawk on Sat Apr 28th, 2007 at 05:16:55 PM EST
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