Voices that live abroad are a tempting search for parties

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Citizens living abroad are a guard for the different political forces to get extra votes, so more and more parties are including them in their campaign plans. But what about the voters abroad who will offer politicians?

Obtain the votes of compatriots

In the previous Saeima elections, 23,116 of the total of 87,493 people voted for a foreign vote, which means that more than three-quarters of the polling stations do not go to polling stations. At that time, the first three places were held abroad by Unity, the National Association and the Association of Latvian Regions (at that time with Artus Neighbor as the brightest character in the list). Now the favor of compatriots living abroad is sought by all parties (the 4000-point program presented in the Central Electoral Commission often mentions the words "diaspora", "departure of people", "return to their home country", "measures to stay in Latvia", etc.), but who they will be, prediction is not easy. The political sympathies of Latvian voters abroad do not appear in opinion polls, because their pursuit would be very expensive. Before the elections, both in Latvia and abroad, there are political discussions about foreign compatriots – in Riga on 28 August the discussion is organized by the association "With world experience in Latvia", but in the beginning of September events are organized in Great Britain. by local community organizations – in the Latvian Center in the UK "Straumeni" and in London. Several parties also intend to travel abroad to carry out their campaigns there. This was the reason for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to spread a reminder that, when organizing Saeima election debates abroad, careful attention should be paid to the rules and traditions of each particular country. "This is particularly important in the event that representatives of political parties registered in Latvia want to take part in such pre-electoral talks, and such cases should be coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country", emphasizes the CSR.

Sola the opportunity to come back

The diaspora offers many lectures about improving the national economy and standard of living, which would encourage people to return to Latvia. "The compatriot is interested in maintaining a link with Latvia, as well as the fact that the children of the Latvian language school in Great Britain will work, which will take place at the weekend," says Z. Kalniņa-Lukaševica, politician of the New Unit. If you want to return to a family with children, the issue of education is important: the availability of schools, the knowledge of children about the Latvian language and the availability of an assistant that would help integrate into life in Latvia. "Studies show the amount of wages that could encourage return – $ 1,500." It may be different, "notes Z. Kalniņa-Lukaševica, stressing that improving the state of the economy would be an encouraging factor. The politician and her colleagues take every opportunity when they are abroad to meet their compatriots living there. Rihard Coll, a politician at the National Union, says that representatives of the diaspora meet regularly and will continue to do so. He still feels that there were times when three people came to pick him up in Edinburgh. Party leaders Raivis Dzintars and Imants Parādnieks met compatriots in the United Kingdom and also in the United States. Likewise, NA politicians communicate with fellow countrymen on social networks. Generally, when he hears complaints about the political situation in Latvia, many of those who went abroad report that they were tired of corruption. "In public discussions you hear all possible cuts, including the accusations that Ryanair and Air Baltic flights have become more expensive, but in informal conversations, critics are calmer and there is a constructive dialogue," says R. Kool. In his opinion, it is essential to adopt the Diaspora law, which will also be a contributing factor in encouraging the return of compatriots to the country. The economic growth of the country, higher wages and more in Western corporate culture companies would be important arguments that would encourage the return of compatriots.

Another approach is the Green and Farmers' Union (ZZS), which in the past was not specially promoted by the Diaspora in public space. "In particular, we do not go abroad with our compatriots, let's look at the job – what is the current tax policy, how much unemployment, what opportunities for entrepreneurs, how many free places in kindergartens," says Augsts Brigmans, chairman of the ZZS Saeima faction, calling for an assessment of the work of the government of Ms. Kuchinska.

"Harmony" will also throw out networks in Russia

The liberal view of the diaspora is Daniel Davut, leader of the "Attentiveness / For" association, who considers the migration of Letten as a normal process, because people now move freely around the world. "We are a citizen of the world, where, wherever our fellow countrymen are, there are close ties with Latvia," says D. Pavluts. He also points out, however, that if compatriots want to consider returning to Latvia for a permanent life, it is necessary to improve the overall economic situation and tell more about opportunities in Latvia. "When I was a minister of economics, I would meet my compatriots in Ireland, at which time I felt that people had double feelings, they had a reasonable reason to go to work, where they could pay better according to their qualifications. those who left Latvia when the crisis broke out, there was a sense of injustice, and in my opinion, the state and the municipalities must take simple steps and build bridges with people, for example to inquire about the current living and working conditions in Latvia, " D. Pavluts.

One of those who has heard audible ears from foreign Latvians is the co-chair of the party "KPV LV" Artuss Kaimiņš. He held special trips during the previous elections and used his online program "The Doghouse" for political communication. It was also reflected in the vote. Buurman emphasizes that the country must be predictable by extending the return of compatriots who have left, by extending this concept to justice, economy and health services. "There are people who want to go home to Latvia, but they are ignorant of whether they will have a job, so we are losing people from our country, and we must do everything we can to keep people away," said A. Kaimiņš. He rejects the accusations of other political forces that his political power for the diaspora is commemorated when votes are needed. "During these years I will meet my compatriots almost every month, I am very well aware of the mood of compatriots, we are full of medicines, for example in Dublin, but few people come to power," says A. Kaimiņš. .

"People have left the country from the economic situation and experienced attitude," said Janis Bordans, leader of the New Conservative party, who stressed that his party sees the best way to encourage the country to return, by order in to introduce the country and organize the economy. Party activists also go to diaspora centers in Great Britain, Ireland and elsewhere.

Similarly, Vaičeslavs Dombrovskis, Prime Minister of Harmony, expresses his opinion. "The most powerful tool for remigration in Latvia would be to show economic growth for several years in a row: if our GDP grows by five percent every year, it will stop the departure of our countrymen and give a strong impetus to those who go to bed. have gone to review their choices. "

Harmony is planning to meet compatriots in both Britain and Russia. For Russian Latvians it is understandable that the & # 39; Harmony & # 39; also want to use the Party Orienteering profile on this topic.

"We are an unbreakable part of the Latvian nation"

Elina Pinto. Photo by Timurs SubhankulovsElina Pinto. Photo by Timurs Subhankulovs

According to political party assessments, diaspora sentiment does not occur at all, and it increases stereotypes about foreign Latvians as a "natural audience" of some sort of political power, according to ELINA PINTO, European Union Vice President of the European Union. Pay attention (ELA).

What do your compatriots expect from the elections and candidates from Saeima?

The inhabitants of Latvia in the world now form the "fifth region", which in their diversity and therefore the choice of politics is as varied as Kurzeme or Latgale. As far as the elections are concerned, the diaspora with 121 stations outside Latvia is the second largest electoral committee behind Riga. That is why interest in the intentions of diaspora voters is increasing, which is welcome because it helps to maintain the link between Latvia and the diaspora, a good understanding of Latvian processes, the Latvian language. These are also essential conditions for a possible return decision.

At this moment everyone who explains what & # 39; the diaspora want or does not want to & # 39; with regard to elections just speculate or play politics, because there is no sociological investigation or an extensive forum in which it would be clarified. Reviews of political parties, for example the intentions of diaspora voters, are not shown at all. Without this information, stereotypes about Diaspora as a "natural audience" of some political power, rather than participation in a quality dialogue, are improved. Moreover, there is a lot of talk about the threshold of five percent, and it should be clear that voting in diaspora can have a significant impact on the country.

We see that civil and political activity grows among us – 11% of people are active in organizations, the number of polling stations of Diaspora activists has increased significantly, and now there are political debates in Brussels, Stockholm, London and Straumenes, in Dublin, before, during or after the elections,, Vienna, Frankfurt and other places. Many are aware that these elections are particularly important for the future of Latvia in the second hundred years after its accession.

However diverse the political sympathy of the diaspora is, one can safely say that Latvian citizens abroad have considerable independence and security, the rule of law and accountability in the government of the state, as well as the rising standard of living of relatives in Latvia, who largely compensated by transfers of work abroad.

How many compatriots are aware of the lists of candidates, do they understand the domestic political reality in Latvia?

Diaspora in Europe is close to events in Latvia, both in terms of content and geography. 77 per cent follow Latvia news on news sites at least once a week (55 per cent of that every day); we have less information about Russian speakers. Diasporamedia play an important role here, and during the pre-election period, we urge them to provide more information on current events in Latvia and election procedures, so that no one can justify not voting on October 6 because he did not know when and how to do it – on the spot or by mail.

One must not forget that living abroad gives people a new perspective on the state and the local government, communication with their own people, the business environment and the availability of education or health care throughout their lives. Moreover, EU employees and other international organizations see directly how the interests of Latvia are widely represented. This creates a different perspective on Latvia's political offer in these areas, and the motive is the desire to be completely proud of Latvia.

The diaspora will vote on the lists of candidates from Riga. It is interesting to see that, in addition to those politicians with exile experience already integrated into Latvian politics, they are also a significant number of young people with longer work experience in Brussels, Great Britain, Ireland and other countries. It also increases the emergence of diaspora voters.

If at this election diaspora voters would vote at least as actively as in the regions of Latvia – and such a precedent was already the only language of the Latvian language referendum in the Latvian referendum, there would be a reason to consider whether the diaspora would assign her constituency. The number of voters abroad is already approaching the lowest number of voters registered in Kurzeme – in the constituency and only about half of the officially resident foreign institutions of Latvia officially announce their foreign address.

Did you notice that politicians have been campaigning for Diaspora lately?

When we had a debate in Riga in January about whether political parties needed divisions abroad, only four people came to the conversation. s. new party At the moment, daily newsletters or calls to foreign voters fall into the ELA e-mail. This year, more powerful than usual, ministers meet their foreign visits to diaspora communities, and some parties have held outreach meetings with Latvians in Luxembourg, Brussels, London and Stockholm. Eleven political parties also responded to the debate prior to the London and Straumenes elections organized by ELA and British Latvian public organizations in mid-September. LTV News Service will live live stream the "Straumene" event as one of the three main pre-election talks, while the "People & # 39; s Panorama" program is scheduled in London. I am pleased with this interest, we have worked hard in recent years to build up these communication and cooperation bridges between the Diaspora and Latvia.

What should politicians do to make their compatriots think about ways to return to Latvia?

The development of Latvia since the restoration of independence has been driven by external reference points – assessments by the European Union, NATO, the OECD and benchmarks. When we are in the "clubs" of all developed countries, it sometimes seems to be called the diaspora as the "external assessor", and return is seen as a litmus test for the quality of the policy. However, the real criterion is the safety of all people in Latvia for tomorrow, growth opportunities, loyalty and responsible management of people's needs. It not only has a role for politicians, but also for municipalities, the media and people – entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations. Not going away or returning is not a criterion in itself – in one way or another a person can contribute to Latvia. It is important to make it easier to do this, and this will only help to raise the standard of living in Latvia.

That is why, prior to the introduction of the Diaspora Bridge, we have encouraged a number of practical measures to correct the declaration of residence in order to facilitate the return quickly, for example by appointing children in nursery classes, reducing bureaucracy for the recognition of professional qualifications of a doctor, architect or civil engineer residing in Latvia and also a diasporapensioner to protect the unused minimum for pensions earned abroad, and thus contribute to the influx of this money into the Latvian economy. The efforts of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development to provide practical support for access to information and business start-ups in Latvia are positively assessed, although their costs do not seem proportionate and the missing strategy for mobility and development of Latvian provinces can not be to replace.

Do politicians view the diaspora as a "territory" to get extra votes, or as a place to invite compatriots to return to Latvia?

The more people with international experience will be in politics, the more natural the relationship between politics and diaspora and dependent persons will be. It seems logical from the diaspora's point of view that we are an indelible part of the Latvian nation – and gradually this concept also arises in Latvia. Politicians agree and calculate the advantages and disadvantages of the election, depending on the rhetoric they choose. I hope that we will hear the words "outgoing forgers" or "discriminatory privileges" less quickly.

Party promises compatriots abroad

Fragments from the party mentioned in the article, which are started in the 13th Saeima elections, 4000 drawing programs for the diaspora.


Solving labor problems through active policy for repatriation, dialogue with the Diaspora.

Strengthening national interests in cooperation with the diaspora, advocacy in international organizations.


Let us see that more citizens are returning to Latvia than they are leaving. Individual approach will be supported by every Latvian who wants to return to live in the homeland.

"For development / for"

Well-balanced, good healthcare without a long line in fair Latvia is open to everyone. Everyone gets health care from the state. Patients' own contributions are twice as low, but medical salaries ensure that they do not emigrate.

People in a net Latvia stay and return, because everyone here appreciates and waits. Latvian citizens belong to Latvia in the world – through culture, language and business ties.


Support for the diaspora in the acquisition of the Latvian language and culture, cooperation in economics, science, sport and research.

Support for the diaspora, return to Latvia, t. to see. the integration of children in the education system.


Here, however, we define 13 works that affect each of us. It is necessary to do this to stop the departure of people and create a predictable environment in which the people of Latvia want to live, return and want to form large families. People have to look for their future opportunities in Latvia, but this is not possible until the state administration and the state's politicians prove with their work that they can use taxpayers' money in a responsible and effective manner.


Focus on creating good jobs by building a competitive, export-oriented and socially responsible economy, supporting an attractive business environment for investments, providing opportunities for regular improvement of qualifications, taking measures to stay in Latvia and returning to Latvia.


Only together can the people of Latvia make changes and overcome the serious challenges: the departure of young people, economic disadvantage and poverty.

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