Pirate Party Almost Changes the Rough Political Climate of Iceland

Pirate Party Almost Changes the Rough Political Climate of Iceland


Pirate Party

The BBC stated, on Oct. 29, 2016, that polls indicate the Pirate Party is attempting to form a coalition with other parties in Iceland. The movement would then form a coup d’etat of the dominant center-right government and almost changed the political climate of Iceland.

The resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson in April triggered an early election. The former prime minister resigned after the Panama papers were leaked. The papers revealed offshore assets of high profile people.

The party has also stated that they are looking to form a coalition with three left-wing and centrist parties. The nation is currently administered by a mixed cabinet of Progressive and Independent Parties. The Pirate Party has gained support after the 2008 fiscal crisis and the release of the Panama papers.

The party stated that they want more freedom from copyright restrictions on the internet, political transparency, and more protection of the citizens’ data. The political faction also demands active supervision and participation for public officials. The Pirate Party also advocates for free health care for all Icelanders.

Although, opposition to the party said that because of the Pirate Party’s lack of political experience, investors could be scared off from Iceland’s recovering economy. The general opposition stated that the party could destabilize the nation’s economy.

The Pirate Party was formed in 2012. The formation of the party emerged from the backlash of the 2008 financial crisis.

Birgitta Jonsdottir leads the party. The political faction also consists of libertarians, anarchists, and internet activists. Jonsdottir is a 49-year-old former Wikileaks activist and web programmer. She now dubbs herself a “politician.”

Jonsdottir has been involved in the political scene since 2009. However, stated that she was able to co-find the Pirate Party because of crossing paths with nerds, being one herself. The political movement is a part of an international anti-copyright movement that originated in Sweden.

The political activists claimed that Sweeten’s population, of approximately 300,000, is tired of corruption. She continues to compare the country to Sicily because it is controlled by a few Mafia-like families along with their associates.

Jonsdottir stated in the New Internationalist that once the banks in Iceland were privatized, in 2005, they were bought by bosses. Promises of professionalism by the banks and stern laws were then disregarded by the ruling national hierarchy. However, the Pirate Party almost changed the rough political climate of Iceland.

The Star reported that voters in Iceland  were given the choice on October 29. The choice consisted of the old regime or the emerging Pirate Party. The emerging and radical party intended to dethrone the older center-right government.

After years of political turmoil and financial crises, many citizens were gravitating toward the newer party. Polls indicated that the Pirate Party was contesting the older regime. It was becoming the largest party in Iceland’s parliament or the Althingi.

The party presently holds three of the 63 seats. Jonsdottir said that she could never have dreamed or fantasized about their current poll numbers. Also, after casting a vote at the Reykjavik school, the party leader stated that if the people are ready, then she and her political party are ready.

After the 2008 global fiscal crisis, all of Iceland’s banks collapsed within a week of each other. Many Icelanders were heated over Gunnlaugsson’s tax avoidance scandal.

Jonsdottir said that if people are tired of living in the chaos of never knowing what tomorrow is going to bring them, they should trust the Pirate Party.

However, on Oct. 10, the Pirate Party was defeated in the Iceland election. The party only won 14.5 percent of the vote. The Left-Green Movement won 15.9 percent, and the Independent party won 29 percent. The Pirate party almost changed the rough political climate of Iceland.

By John A. Federico
Edited by Jeanette Smith


BBC: Iceland election: Pirate Party looks to make gains
Time: Everything You Need to Know About Iceland’s Pirate Party
The Star: Iceland’s Pirate Party aims for new gains on election day
USA Today: Pirate Party finds modest treasure buried in Iceland election

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Pirátská strana’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License