In my previous post I was interviewing young Latvian EP candidates and asking their motivations for candidating. And I promised to have a look at older candidates to compare these motivations. In the first part of this post I will touch the motivations and draw some conclusions about young and not so young candidates, but in the second part a more entertaining finding about candidates will follow. Step by step:
I was going through the candidate list and found some interesting and worth questioning personalities, especially the ones who are not so well known in society and not working in governmental institutions. But then I found out that it’s not that easy to find their contacts and reach them. Mainly because they are not in Latvian social community portal draugiem.lv which was the medium I used when approached young candidates. And even when I was trying to google for the older ones, I ended up with finding a lot of information about them, but not their contacts. In the end I still managed to find 7 email addresses of different candidates (some of them were well known politicians already working in Latvian Parliament, some - managers in different fields and companies). Three of them replied which was a great surprise to me.
1) I must say that comparing to the motivations of young candidates these ones are serious, well developed, professional and in a way general and impersonal stating the role and activities of EP, but not so much their personal feelings and motives. (“EP is the only EU institution which is directly elected by the citizens of EU member states”, “The role of EP is growing in serious decision making and it gives opportunities by creating powerful coalitions to make decisions favourable to Latvia’s interests ”).
2) Only one of three candidates was more personal than others: “The first and the most important motivation aspect are the concerns of simple, politically active and patriotic citizen about our state’s bad economic situation.” And still complicated.
3) Of course, most of these candidates have a good education, experience in their professional field and politics, some have contacts in EU. That is again a thing that makes them more professionally prepared than young candidates for proposing their candidatures.
4) As to the promotion, the ones who have already gained a name in society don’t need to take much care about it because they are being promoted within their party.
Typical and boring in a way. Therefore, it made me smile about this all when I came across an article about the most extraordinary MEP’s top made by the biggest German newspaper Bild, but I read it from the Latvian internet portal Tvnet. The newspaper had its criteria for making this top and here is what they say: “Politicians are being perceived as serious, unobservable and a little bit boring. The lists of candidates show that they can also be sporty, glamorous and sexy.”
What attracted my attention first of all was the fact that Rihards Pīks, the current MEP from Latvia and also the candidate for the upcoming EP elections has been listed in this top. He is considered as extraordinary because before his EP career he has worked as a cameraman, film director and producer, as well as was the Minister of Culture. What the newspaper didn’t mention, but what I can add is that about 2 years ago he and his wife became godparents for 2 giraffes in Riga zoo. Apart from that Rihards Pīks is different from other Latvian candidates and perhaps MEP’s because by his own webpage (rather interactive and multimedia supplemented) and activities he has organized (student competition about EP work, Euro bus) he is quite reachable and open to society.
Some other extraordinary MEP’s in this list are: Peter Stastny, the former NHL ice hockey player from Slovakia, Ari Vatanen, Finnish auto rallist and others.