Pirate Party Asked to Form Iceland’s New Government
Ashley Allen / 3 years ago
Iceland is to become the first country in the world to have “Pirate” politicians in power after the nation’s Pirate Party was asked to form a coalition government following its strong showing in the recent general election. Iceland’s Pirate Party was only formed in 2012, but has been leading opinion polls amongst Icelandic citizens for over a year due to its policy of digital privacy protection, political transparency, and free healthcare.
Pirate Party leader Birgitta Jónsdóttir has been formally mandated by Iceland’s President to form the new government after previous attempts to form a coalition, which is required since no single party gained the 32 seats required to form a government, failed. Despite only having a member base of around 1,500, the Pirate Party garnered approximately 25,000 votes, which won the Pirates 10 seats in the Icelandic Parliament.
“A lot of marginalised people, people that nobody really cares about, people that feel left behind because the system is not working for them, have actually started to engage and work with us,” Jónsdóttir told BBC News.
The Pirate Party’s main policy is to empower the people of Iceland by creating a mechanism to effectively crowdsource government policies to be voted on, and a draft constituency aims to enshrine that policy into law. “To be the robin hood of power, we take the power from the powerful and give it to the people,” Jónsdóttir adds.
While both the Independence Party, which got 29% of the vote, and the Left-Green Party failed to form governments, Jónsdóttir hopes that the Pirate Party’s efforts to form a five-party coalition will be successful.