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GOOD LIBERTY NEWS IN EUROPE! (I AM NOT KIDDING!)

Estonia is a small nation in eastern Europe on the Baltic Sea.  It was independent from 1918 through 1940 and then in a cynical deal between Hitler and Stalin, it was forcibly occupied by the USSR for over fifty years.  Thankfully, the USA never recognized the occupation of Estonia (or Latvia or Lithuania); finally in 1991, they became independent as the USSR dissolved (Thank God!) into its 15 republics.

The center-right coalition that rules Estonia and brought it into the eurozone (without a referendum – I must fault them for that!) was victorious in last Sunday’s election:

With almost all votes counted, the Reform Party of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip had won 33 seats while current junior coalition partner, Pro Patria and Res Republica Union, won 23.

That gives a total 56 seats in the 101-seat house, six more than the parties together won in the last election.

Estonia has the lowest debt and deficit of any nation in Europe!  (Can we make Ansip an honorary citizen of USA!  He’d have a great platform already for President!)  Soren Dayton reported that this election shows that Keynesianism is dead.  Dayton cites the Old Gray Lady herself, the NY Times:

The vote reflects approval for a government that continued to embrace laissez-faire capitalism during the painful months after the global downturn. After Estonia’s economy shrank nearly 15 percent, the state reduced its budget by the equivalent of 9 percent of gross domestic product. Demand fell steeply, and unemployment crept up, early in 2010, to 19.8 percent.

But in contrast to their neighbors in Latvia, where economic troubles led to riots and the government’s collapse, Estonians stoically absorbed the suffering. These sacrifices allowed Estonia to join the euro zone in January, a move its leaders hailed as a sign that the country was on its way to achieving Western European standards of living. Meanwhile, the economy has been projected to grow by 4 percent this year, and unemployment has dropped to around 10 percent, according to the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Ten percent unemployment is not stellar but it is great compared to 19.5%.  Four percent growth may be more than we do here in the USA.  The key is the willingness of the Estonian people to accept some suffering to get a gain down the road.  It is reported that the Estonian Reform Party is a libertarian party.  Try this preamble to their party platform:

The Reform Party executes the convictions and traditions of European liberal democracy in Estonia and wishes to contribute to the liberal democratic movement worldwide. Our aim is to unite the people of Estonia in their effort to improve their quality of life and form a basis for a wealthy and stable society through economic development.
People must be free in their choices and be responsible for their actions. A favourable environment for self-realisation for enterprising and decisive people also provides an opportunity to support those in need. The Reform Party is in favour of the liberal organisation of society which is based on the principles of freedom and humanism.

While I am not crazy about their environmental platform since it talks about sustainability and they are firmly an European party, the Reform Party of Estonia is certainly more right than not.  I wish it all the best.  The Baltic Republics have a special place for me since I found out as a young boy about the 1940 occupation.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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