The freezing country of Iceland is ready to vote in the country’s Oct. 29 general election. An insurgent political coalition called Pirate Party, known for its computer hackers and anarchist candidates, expects to win the largest share of the vote and establish a new government that includes cryptocurrency bitcoin as a legal tender.
The Pirates, who may win more than 22 percent of the vote and be enabled to form a coalition with four other left-wing parties, are rising as the country’s political elite has been increasingly perceived as corrupt.
Formed in 2012, Iceland’s Pirate Party had led the polls until this week, but the latest opinion polls showed the particular group was just one point behind the center-right Independence Party, a junior member of the coalition government.
At first, mainstream parties dismissed this group as they considered it a joke, but many voters are now disappointed and are no longer supporting Iceland’s government. Eirikur Rafnsson, who is actively engaged in managing the Pirates’ campaign, claimed they were different because they admit that they don’t have all the answers. Rafnsson remarked that the party is committed to listening to people so they can join forces to find solutions, according to a report by The Telegraph.
They really want to include people in their plans. The Pirate party chooses its policies by using online polls, and they want citizens to write a “crowd-sourced” constitution to replace Iceland’s 72-year-old document. The members of this group have plans to hold a referendum on whether to join the European Union, which makes them similar to other populist parties.
But the Pirates promised they would not make the same mistakes that happened in Britain and that they will ensure everyone knows the implications of joining the EU, according to the Washington Post.
Brigitte Jonsdottir, who leads the coalition, told the Post that they would put aside nativist and anti-immigrant interests. Jonsdottir, 49, is a former Wikileaks activist, web programmer and was MP for different parties before helping form the Pirates Party.
She believes the 300,000 people living in Iceland want to see the end of nepotism. Her anti-establishment message gained support in 2013 when the party gained a seat in the Althing (the Icelandic Parliament). In an April poll, support for the group increased 43 percent after the Panama Papers showed that former Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson had invested in offshore accounts. This news triggered massive protests in the country.
Iceland under a Pirate government
“We are going to bring about the end of representational democracy,” said the Pirate’s Deputy MP, Halldora Mogensen, according to the Telegraph.
Mogensen, 37, continued to say that the current constitution should not be valid anymore because it dates back to a time when the people in power didn’t have resources to consult everyone simultaneously, which the Pirates can now do thanks to the widespread access to the Internet.
Under a Pirate government, citizens would vote on key policies on the party’s website. According to the Telegraph, this group’s candidates are articulate, well-educated and ready to assume the responsibility of Iceland’s government.
Asta Helgadottir, one of the party’s three sitting MPs, said that a victory for the Pirates would mean that old men would no longer make decisions about the country’s economy. The 26-year-old political science graduate was elected last year.
The Pirates’s values are based on direct democracy. They want to push civil rights and see more transparent companies. The group remarks the importance of a population well informed of the country’s decisions.
Source: The Telegraph