October 24, 2016
The Washington Post is reporting in “Iceland, a land of Vikings, braces for a Pirate Party takeover” that: “The party that could be on the cusp of winning Iceland’s national elections on Saturday didn’t exist four years ago.”
PAUL FONTAINE, paul [at] grapevine.is, @rvkgrapevine, Skype: pauldfontaine
Fontaine is news editor of the Reykjavík Grapevine. Two pieces he posted today are: “Unions Gearing Up For A Stormy 2017″ and Iceland’s Next Government Could Be Taking Shape Right Now.” Also, see his overview piece from last month: “Decision ‘16: Iceland’s Looming Political Shitstorm.”
Fontaine said today: “This time around, we have a party dominating the polls that is touting itself as a genuine alternative to the old order, and the international press has been quick to run with this narrative. If you read the platform of the Pirate Party, there definitely is a lot about it that pushes against the grain; in particular, their emphasis on government transparency, direct democracy and increased democratic participation, and finishing up that new constitution already. This is very encouraging, because there is absolutely no reason why a country, especially of 330,000 people, needs a government as byzantine, bureaucratic, and straight-up antiquated as Iceland’s. I would in fact put forward that we would do much better for ourselves by going even farther than any party has been proposing.
“By going farther, I mean that we need an actual transparent, consensus-based form of direct democracy. Representational democracy, like elsewhere in the world, has failed in Iceland. I think that’s why we’re seeing alternate parties rising in support; people know we need something different, but most are not yet at the point of being able to see an alternative to the current system.”