Icelandic Pirates set sail for mainstream
Iceland’s Pirates may be about to make history as a new opinion poll conducted by the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland for Icelandic daily Morgunbladid indicates that over one in five voters will be voting Pirate.
Published: October 24, 2016, 11:11 am
The data from 14-19 October, puts the Pirate Party in first place with 22.6%, ahead of the centre-right Independence Party, currently in power, as public cynicism with a political system long steered by an insider clique has taken root.
If the Iceland’s 63-seat national parliament (‘Alþingi’) are led by the Pirates, Edward Snowden will be invited to move to Iceland, they say.
This is 2016 where political “impossibilities” have become reality. Britain voted for Brexit and Donald Trump won the Republican nomination. Soon the Pirate Party may be the first of its kind in Europe.
The hacker-led movement is leading a direct-democracy uprising across Europe. The gaggle of geeks, hackers, anarchists and libertarians sets policy through online polls and wants to turn Iceland into privacy haven, free of digital snooping.
The rise of the Pirates from radical fringe to the main party in Icelandic politics, has even taken the party’s founder, a poet, Web programmer and former WikiLeaks activist, by surprise. The 49-year-old Birgitta Jónsdóttir said she never envisioned the party governing so soon.
Jónsdóttir, who could soon could lead Iceland’s parliament in Reykjavík as prime minister, has occupied a parliamentary seat for seven years, since 2012 as the front person of the Pirate Party.
The unlikely politician told THe Nation she would stand by to watch the Pirates devolve into just another hack party in a dysfunctional system, but instead reinvest power in the legislature to bring politics closer to the people.
“We’re fighting for fundamental democratic change,” Jónsdóttir explained.
The beautiful island just beyond the Arctic Circle has a population of 323,000, with no military and an economy rooted in tourism and fishing. The country is equitable, peaceful and prosperous, and home to the world’s oldest parliament.
Their governing body dates back to a gathering of Norse settlers in A.D. 930. As Paul Hockenos from The Nation notes, Nordic-style parliamentary democracy, dominated for decades by pro-NATO conservatives, “was shattered when the country went bust in the 2008 financial crisis, pitching Iceland into its deepest crisis since full independence and the republic were declared in 1944″.
Since then Iceland has been afflicted by the same anti-establishment fervor that has swept the rest of the Western world in recent years.
“People here are angry and frustrated,” says Karl Blöndal, deputy editor of the center-right Morgunbladid. “In the minds of many voters, the Pirates are the only untainted party.”
The 2008 global financial crisis brought the once highflying economy to ruin, saved only by a $4.6 billion international bailout. Bankers went to jail, and a street protest movement was born which saw a resurgence after the Panama Papers were released.
The leak revealed an offshore company owned by the prime minister’s wife linked to one of Iceland’s collapsed banks. The conflict of interest led to demonstrations with thousands of protesters taking to the streets.
The Pirates are part of an international movement of the same name. In Iceland, their programmes include fishing quotas, a new take on online pornography and of course Snowden. Party leaders have offered him Icelandic citizenship.
But on whether Iceland should join the European Union, for instance, the Pirates have not taken a stand, insisting instead that the matter should be decided in a national referendum.
The Pirates started as a Swedish movement to counter digital copyright laws, and has proposed making the country “a digital safe haven” much like Switzerland is a haven to safe banking.
The first Pirate Party was founded ten years ago by Rick Falkvinge in Sweden. Since then, the idea has spread to other countries, including the UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
INTERVIEWWill Europe liberate itself from transatlanticist dominance? Viktor Olevich from the Moscow based "Actual Politics Center" in an exclusive talk with Free West Media:
AFRICAIt is not uncommon that Somali migrants in Europe threatens Christian converts living in Somalia and Kenya. Free West Media's Africa correspondent Cate Mukei spoke with Dinooz, who previously worked as an accountant at Coca-Cola in Somalia, but who is currently hiding in a secret location in Kenya. The man who sent him death threats lives in Germany and claims to be 18 years old, but on his private Facebook account he writes that his age is 25.
INTERVIEWMarkus Frohnmaier, the leader of the AfD youth organization Junge Alternative, criticses the latest NATO Operation "Atlantic Resolve" in an interview with Free West Media.
GERMANYAfD MP Stephan Brandner is threatening to expose the "totally hammered Antifa guy with his mini-tool" who peed on an AfD office in Thuringia if the activist ever tries to show up outside their office again.
INTERVIEWHatune Dogan is an outspoken Syrian Orthodox nun travelling the world visiting refugee camps and war zones. She has criticized the destructive European immigration policy and is not afraid to be "politically incorrect". She has condemned radical Islamism and thinks Russia's involvement in Syria is a good thing. She has also dared to condemn the US for its policy of divide and conquer in order to seize the region's resources. Reporter Sanna Hill followed Hatune Dogan on a journey through the war-torn Iraq and Turkey.
A constant barrage of messages, calls on weekends, or emails in the middle of the night, French employees are finding it increasingly difficult to remain off-duty outside their working hours.
MINSKExperts from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine met to discuss issues of cooperation between the three countries.
The French government, having already prolonged a state of emergency, has confirmed that some 91 000 police, military police, and soldiers will be on duty over the Christmas weekend due to the increased threat from terrorism.
Ilana Mercer looks at the way political correctness has destroyed the traditional American family, as once depicted in the delightful movie 'A Christmas Story'.
OPINIONNo word can describe the collective attitude of the Western Mainstream Media (MSM) towards the ongoing war between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the radical Islamist groups in Aleppo. Perhaps one needs a lexicon to understand the nature of the desperate attitude that hysterically accuses the SAA and its allies of committing atrocities such as a “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing”, without any credible evidence.