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Parliamentary elections in Iceland

PirateTimes
 
Parliamentary elections in Iceland

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On Saturday the 28th  October 2017, general parliamentary elections were held in Iceland. These elections came just a year after the last ones because the ruling government collapsed in September after one of the third ruling parties left the coalition citing a scandal involving the Prime Minister’s father.

The Icelandic Pirate Party (PPIS) achieved a result of 9.2% earning them 6 seats in parliament, out of a total of 63. This is a decrease of 5.3% and results in a loss of 4 seats. It is, however, the third consecutive national election in which PPIS managed to get into parliament.

These were the first national election for PPIS without the well know Birgitta Jónsdóttir as the top candidate. She decided not to participate in this elections to focus on other things she feel are important. Also, Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir decided not to run again; this being in line with the Icelandic Pirates idea that members of parliament should not stay in office for too long.

The sheer number of parties elected to the new parliament (8) means building a stable coalition will be difficult and there could well be another round of elections before the term of government is fully served.

The Pirates elected to the new AlÞingi are:

Halldóra Mogensen

Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson

Björn Leví Gunnarsson

Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir

Smári McCarty

Jón Þór Ólafsson

Twitter quotes
Today is my last day as a parliamentarian. So thankful for the trust and the support in the role as a poetician…. https://t.co/DHpVaQHSa5

— BirgittⒶ Jónsdóttir (@birgittaj) October 28, 2017

And thus begins my second term as an elected representative of the Icelandic people.

— Smári McCarthy (@smarimc) October 29, 2017

Well this is by far the weirdest election result I’ve seen, I can’t imagine this parliament finishing a term #kosningar

— Arnaldur Sigurðarson (@Arnaldtor) October 29, 2017


Featured Image: CC-BY PPIS

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 Iceland  election  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Election  PPIS  Pirate Party
Island: Die Piratenpartei kann Regierung! – Auftrag zur Regierungsbildung

Piratenpartei Deutschland
 
Island: Die Piratenpartei kann Regierung! – Auftrag zur Regierungsbildung

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Die Piratenpartei Island hat das Mandat zur Regierungsbildung erhalten.

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir

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PIRATEN – BUNDESVORSTAND – KRISTOS THINGILOUTHIS – FOTO be-him CC BY NC ND – IMG 5789

Kristos Thingilouthis, politischer Geschäftsführer der Piratenpartei Deutschland:

»Wenn es eine Kraft schaffen kann, die isländische Politik zu einen und den lang ersehnten Neuanfang zu wagen, dann sind es die PIRATEN. Es geht uns PIRATEN schließlich nicht um das Erringen der Macht, sondern um ihre Neuverteilung. Wir betrachten uns als Hacker veralteter Regierungssysteme.

Eine crowdgesourcte neue Verfassung mit direkter Demokratie in Kraft zu setzen, die öffentliche Teilhabe an politischen Entscheidungen zu verstärken, das Vertrauen der Bürger in die Politik zurückzugewinnen und  Korruption zu bekämpfen – all das sind Ziele, die außer der abgewählten alten Regierung Islands alle Parteien unterstützen können.

Die isländischen PIRATEN haben jetzt eine historische Chance als erste Piratenpartei weltweit mit der Bildung einer Regierung beauftragt zu sein und piratige Politik zu gestalten.
Wir hier in Deutschland betrachten diesen spannenden Prozess mit großer Freude und wünschen Birgitta und ihren Mitstreitern eine gute Hand bei den Verhandlungen. Volle Fahrt voraus, das habt Ihr gut gemacht.«

Hintergrund: Mit 10 Mandaten wird die Piratenpartei in Islands Parlament über ebenso viele Sitze verfügen wie die links-grüne Bewegung. Nur die Unabhängigkeitspartei, die Teil der abgewählten Regierung war, verfügt mit 21 Sitzen über einen größeren Rückhalt. Unabhängigkeitspartei und die links-grüne Partei hatten seit der Wahl vergeblich versucht eine Regierung zu bilden.

Hintergrund: Mit 10 Mandaten wird die Piratenpartei in Islands Parlament über ebenso viele Sitze verfügen wie die links-grüne Bewegung. Nur die Unabhängigkeitspartei, die Teil der abgewählten Regierung war, verfügt mit 21 Sitzen über einen größeren Rückhalt. Unabhängigkeitspartei und die links-grüne Partei hatten seit der Wahl vergeblich versucht eine Regierung zu bilden.
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 Piraten wirken  Pressemitteilungen  Slider  Wahlen  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Kristos Thingilouthis  Piratar  PIRATEN Island  Regierungsbildung  Piratenpartei
PPIS Ranked Third But Won The Elections In Effect

PirateTimes
 
PPIS Ranked Third But Won The Elections In Effect

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Although Pirate Party of Iceland (PPIS) finally ranked third in the number of votes, it gained much more publicity than any other party. PPIS has a possibility to be part of the next government, it can be considered the largest winner of these elections.

After the recent failure of Berlin Pirates in September (they lost 15 seats in the parliament of Berlin) the tripling of the number of seats held by PPIS was what the Pirate movement needed to recover morale. In only three and a half years since entering parliament, PPIS has increased its share of the vote from 5,1% to 14,98%. The Pirates now have 10 MP’s, seven more than 2013 and now have representatives from all the regions of the country. PPIS still remains the only Pirate party that has representatives in a national parliament. They are valid players at the table of power and under certain circumstances they could even participate in the next government.

Besides the great electoral success, the most important feat for the Pirate movement is the great mobilization, support and solidarity shown by Pirates globally. Since April, when it became clear that there will be snap elections in Iceland, Pirates from many parties declared themselves willing  to help in any way they could with the election campaign. A few days prior to the election date many Pirates traveled to Iceland to experience this historic moment.

On election day and especially during the night, many parties were organized throughout the world to watch the results. Pirates celebrated in cities such as Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Delft, Groningen, Dusseldorf, Berlin, London (Canada) and Luxembourg.

Of course the main party was in Reykjavik where Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Pirate movement, Julia Reda, Pirate MEP, Icelandic pirates and many other pirates from Sweden, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Italy created a cheering atmosphere that was live streamed.

See more pictures from the events at piratesforiceland.party

The media was gripped by frenzy about the Pirate movement
There were countless references in the media about PPIS, even when another party was leading in the polls. It is striking how the international mainstream media informed their readers who were hungry to read more about the Pirate Party. Although the Pirates were surpassed in the number of votes it is the only party that readers will remember a long time after the event!

In the long term, all the publicity will have a great impact in the electoral influence of the Pirate Parties in countries, where Pirate Parties already exist and will also inspire people to create Pirate Parties in countries where there are none.

There were reports in countries such as Finland, Greece, Serbia, Spain, New Zealand, Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, France, Portugal and of course intense interest in Sweden (the birthplace of the Pirate movement). In Israel, the Israeli newspaper featured it and a Pirate was invited to talk about the elections on Israeli TV. For a complete world press coverage take a look at scoop.it

The final results
Invalid/blank votes 5,574    //  Total 195,204   // Registered voters 246,515   //   Turnout 79.19%

Independence Party (54,990) 29.00% 21 seats
Left-Green Movement (30,166) 15.91% 10 seats
Pirate Party (27,449) 14.48% 10 seats
Progressive Party (21,791) 11.49% 8 seats
Reform (19,870) 10.48% 7 seats
Bright Future (13,578) 7.16% 4 seats
Social Democratic Alliance (10,893) 5.74% 3 seats
People’s Party (6,707) 3.54 % No seats
Dawn (3,275) 1.7% No seats
People’s Front of Iceland (575) 0.30% No seats
Icelandic National Front (303) 0.16% No seats
Humanist Party (33) 0.02% No seats

Key features of the elections
1) No party has the simple majority needed to form a government because none of them received the needed 32 out of 63 seats in the Althingi (Icelandic Parliament). Thus all elected parties will have to negotiate. PPIS announced, two days before the election, the results of negotiations with the Left-Green Movement, Bright Future and the Social Democratic Alliance (totaling 27 seats between the 4 parties). The Independence and Progressive Party (the old government coalition) gathered 29 seats and thus can’t form a majority government. Viðreisn (Reform), which is a new party, gained 7 seats and is the “kingmaker” of the election. The leader of Reform has stated that his party will not co-operate with the outgoing government.

2) The resounding failure of the polls to accurately portray the voting intention of Icelanders. Not one poll predicted the results of the elections. They forecast that the Independence Party would rank in 1st place but no poll said that the Pirates would finally be third in votes. Instead all polls anticipated they would surely be second.

3) 48% of the Althingi consisted of women MPs making it the most gender equal parliament ever. The Icelandic parliament has 30/63 women MPs, a unique record in the history of Iceland and the world’s parliamentary history. The MPs of PPIS are equal with five men and five women.

4) The turnout of the voters was low for Icelandic standards. It was below 80% . It could have been even higher if the elections were held in April, when the weather in Iceland is better.

The political landscape after the elections
The day after the elections four Pirate MPs (Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Smári McCarthy, Björn Leví Gunnarsson and Halldóra Mogensen) gave a press conference commenting on the outcome of the elections and what the Pirate Party will do. According to the them the landscape after the elections is complicated, not only in the political level but also in the practical level, because it’s the first time that seven parties have representatives in the parliament.
“It’s a very tight issue, we have to proceed with a lot of negotiations and compromise, but it’s very interesting times for democracy. Pirates are open to compromise but not with the parties that were in the government. We need a long term vision, where we’re going as a society and that’s something that the Pirate Party has been working on for years. We focus on inspiring the general public to participate and co-create our society, on empowering people to be part of the change and we work to give people easy ways to participate”, pirates said among others.

PPIS also reported on its website:
“…Icelandic Pirates are overjoyed to have now secured a Pirate representative to Alþingi from every single one of Iceland’s six electorate districts, with first-time representatives in North West, North East and South districts, and additional four representatives being elected in the capital districts Reykjavik South, Reykjavik North and South West (Kópavogur, Garðabær, Hafnarfjörður, Seltjarnarnes, Mosfellsbær). The Pirate Party of Iceland would like to thank the scores of international Pirates that have visited us here in Iceland from thirteen different countries (including Sweden, Australia, Slovenia, Germany, USA and Canada) for their help and wonderful company and thanks to the people that have sent us countless greetings and YAAAR’s from all over the world…”


Meet the 10 Pirate MPs of PPIS
PPIS elected Pirate MPs in all the regions of Iceland

Reykjavik North (3)
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Birgitta Jónsdóttir is one of the re-elected MPs. She is a “poetician” (poet/politician) and one of the founders of the Pirate Party in Iceland. She has been an MP for both the “Movement” and PPIS. Birgitta has worked in diverse functions, including office administrative and work, organization of artistic events of various kinds, layout of books, graphics, translation, journalism, writing, etc. Birgitta has a keen interest in the working procedures of the Parliament and its responsibility. She herself says:
“I am interested in setting up a Standing Committee of Parliament for the cross-party consensus, having long-term goals, such as e.g. the restoration of health care, changes in education in the spirit of Finnish, pensions, sustainability and electrical / methane cars fuel.”

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Björn Leví Gunnarsson is another re-elected MP. He gave great emphasis on equal weighting of votes nationwide. He became a software specialist in educational institutions after he obtained his master’s degree in the United States but he held various jobs, including teaching in elementary school.
“Society expects more responsibility, more information, more cooperation. The system will not be fair unless people become responsible. The system will not be honest unless everyone has access to information. The system will not be human but with more cooperation.”

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Halldóra Mogensen has been a parliamentary deputy and she has, among others, submitted a resolution on unconditional basic income. A profound sense of justice and a desire to benefit her community have been the dominant driving forces in her life.
“My key issue is about to eliminate poverty and provide equal opportunities for the individual and be truly free. It concerns me to come to the necessary constitutional changes and update our systems in line with the opportunities that technological advances offer”


Reykjavik South (2)
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Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir 26 years old is the third re-elected MP for PPIS. In the Parliament, she has undertaken a variety of issues in many fields and made an impact on the ownership of Landsbanki (the Icelandic National bank). Moreover, she has kept track of the copyright for the parliamentary group and has been working closely with pirate MEP Julia Reda. In recent years, she has devoted herself to the work related in one way or another to democracy, freedom of speech and changes in the constitution to reflect the democratic society of the 21st century better. Asta is a historian by training.

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Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson 35 years has worked as a journalist. He has a BSc in Social Sciences and has lived in UK, Netherlands, China, Germany and Iceland. After moving home in 2006 he was a journalist with the ‘Reykjavik Grapevine‘ and then a reporter on ‘RUV‘ (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service). He has a 3 year old daughter. As he says, principally he will focus on the rescue of the health care (especially the mental health system), at supplying a new constitution based on the recommendations adopted at the referendum, the participation of Iceland in international cooperation, the educational system.

Southwest (2)
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Jón Þór Ólafsson Former pirate MP, made headlines when he left the parliament and returned to work with his former job in asphalt. He is married and has two children. During this term of office he got busy (with others) in health care, the EU membership application, fishing quotas and debt issues. He believes it is urgent to create a powerful competitive environment in Iceland, rebuild the health system and improve the part for the elderly and disabled. “I became member of  the Pirates when I realized that the Pirate Party stands for human rights protection and democratic reforms of our time”.

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Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir has graduated from the University of Utrecht in international and human rights law. Her focal issues concerns the rights of those who are disadvantaged in society, the adoption of a new constitution and the restoration of health care. She lives in ‘Mosfellsbær’.
“Human rights of minorities and marginalized individuals are my particular areas of interest. In my work I concentrate on the rights of refugees, people with disabilities, prisoners and drug users, along with the rights of people with mental disorders and psychiatric illness”.


Northwest (1)
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Eva Pandora Baldursdóttir was born in ‘Sauðárkrókur’ in 1990. She has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Iceland, completed one year in MA in Cultural Management at the University of ‘Bifrost’ and has an MPA degree in public administration at the University of Iceland. She registered with the Progressive Party from the age of 16, when she started to get interested in politics, but when she met the Pirate Party a few months before the last parliamentary elections she saw immediately that the strategy and values of the Pirates matched hers. Since then, her interest in politics has grown and the issues that remain in focus for her is health, education, housing, corruption, agriculture and equality.

Northeast (1)
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Einar Aðalsteinn Brynjólfsson has mostly been teaching the last seven years in High School. Einar has worked in various jobs, in fishing, the programming of radio stations, proofreading and guidance.

South (1)
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Smári McCarthy was the Technical Director of the ‘Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project’ which was involved in the Panama Papers. In recent years he mainly worked in freedom of information and democracy projects. Smári has developed various open source software, including the Wasa2il which was nominated for the Prix Ars Electronica awards in 2013. He writes a lot, among other things, for journals such as “Arc” and “New Internationalist”, but has also written essays for Bergeron’s Children, Mediando la Democracia and The End of Artificial Scarcity.

All images are from piratar.is and the piratar.island facebook page: CC BY-SA

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 Election  Ásta Helgadóttir  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Bjorn Levi Gunnarson  Einar Brynjolfsson  election  Eva Baldursdottir  Gunnar Hrafn Jonsson  Halldora Morgensen  Iceland  Jon Olafsson  Julia Reda  PPIS  Rick Falkvinge  Smari McCarthy  Torhildur Aevarsdottir
PIRATEN Island – Birgitta Jonsdottir gibt einen Ausblick auf die Zukunft

Piratenpartei Deutschland
 
PIRATEN Island – Birgitta Jonsdottir gibt einen Ausblick auf die Zukunft

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Vorsitzende der Piratar, der isländischen Piratenpartei:

»Die ethisch korrumpierte alte Regierung ist abgewählt. Die Piratenpartei verdreifacht ihr Ergebnis auf 14,5% und wird mit 10 Parlamentssitzen drittstärkste Kraft. Jetzt werden wir zeigen, wozu PIRATEN imstande sind. Bei den anstehenden Verhandlungen gilt es, sich treu zu bleiben. Gebrochene Wahlversprechen wird es mit den PIRATEN nicht geben.

Ziel bleibt die Annahme der crowdgesourcten Verfassung, um direkte Demokratie und mehr Bürgerbeteiligung einzuführen. Und die PIRATEN werden weiter dafür kämpfen, dass Edward Snowden die isländische Staatsbürgerschaft bekommt. Nur so ist er sicher.«
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 Piratenpartei  Europapolitik  Europa  Netzpolitik  International  Slider  Pressemitteilungen  crowdsourcing  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Piratenpartei  Piratar  Island  Edward Snowden  Asyl  Wahlen  Transparenz  Termine  Piraten wirken
PIRATEN: Das isländische Beispiel inspiriert Menschen weltweit

Piratenpartei Deutschland
 
PIRATEN: Das isländische Beispiel inspiriert Menschen weltweit

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Die heutige Parlamentswahl in Island kommentiert Patrick Breyer, Themenbeauftragter der Piratenpartei Deutschland für Datenschutz:

»Egal wie diese historische Wahl ausgeht: Das isländische Beispiel hat schon jetzt Menschen weltweit inspiriert und gibt ihnen Hoffnung.

In vielen Ländern der Welt sind Menschen unzufrieden mit antiquierten, intransparenten und von Vetternwirtschaft geprägten Regierungssystemen, in denen eine moralisch korrupte Elite zum eigenen Vorteil die Fäden in der Hand hält. Während diese Unzufriedenheit vielerorts fremdenfeindliche, populistische und autoritäre Nationalisten hervorgebracht hat, zeigt Island einen anderen Weg auf: dass eine Bürgerbewegung ein Land von unten verändern kann, um Bürgerrechte zu schützen und die Demokratie weiterzuentwickeln.

Nach einem wirtschaftlichen Zusammenbruch infolge der Finanzkrise haben die Isländer Vertrauen in sich selbst gefasst: Begleitet von Protesten auf der Straße wurden Verantwortliche zur Rechenschaft gezogen, Referenden verhinderten eine Begünstigung ausländischer Investoren, mithilfe von Schwarmintelligenz wurde in einem offenen internetgestützten Verfahren eine neue Verfassung für das Land entworfen.

Island steht exemplarisch für die Ablösung des Vertrauens in die Weisheit politischer Parteien durch ein Vertrauen der Bürger in die eigene Intelligenz und ihren Willen, selbst Teil der erhofften Veränderung werden zu wollen. Das hat Island gemein mit Bewegungen wie dem arabischen Frühling, Occupy Wall Street, Podemos in Spanien, der italienischen fünf Sterne-Bewegung und der Graswurzelbewegung zur Unterstützung von Bernie Sanders: Es geht nicht mehr um die Ergreifung der Macht, sondern um ihre Neuverteilung nach unten.

Wir PIRATEN sind stolzer Teil dieser Bewegung und wollen ihr in Island zum Durchbruch verhelfen!«

Birgitta Jonsdottir von den isländischen PIRATEN erklärt ihre Mission so:

»Ich möchte, dass jeder in Island den PIRATEN in sich entdeckt. Denn der PIRAT im Inneren steht für Veränderung und eine gemeinsame Vision für die Zukunft.«

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 Europa  Medienpolitik  Menschenrechte  Netzpolitik  Piraten wirken  Pressemitteilungen  Transparenz  Wahlen  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  DirekteDemokratie  Island  Patrick Breyer  Piraten  wahlen  XPiratar  Piratenpartei
Island: Weltweit erste Regierungsbeteiligung der Piratenpartei rückt näher

Piratenpartei Deutschland
 
Island: Weltweit erste Regierungsbeteiligung der Piratenpartei rückt näher

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Islands Piratenpartei, die am Samstag mit einer Prognose von rund 20% zweitstärkste Kraft des Landes werden könnte, arbeitet schon vor der Wahl an der Bildung eines möglichen Regierungsbündnisses. An den von den PIRATEN angestoßenen Kooperationsgesprächen nahmen drei andere Oppositionsparteien teil und stellten eine Koalitionsbildung in Aussicht.[1] Zusammen kommen die vier Parteien in aktuellen Umfragen auf über 50% der Stimmen.

Zur Begründung der für etablierte Parteien ungewöhnlich frühen Verhandlungen erklärte die Piratenpartei, in Koalitionsverhandlungen nach der Wahl seien unter dem Vorwand „politischer Zwänge“ immer wieder Wahlversprechen gebrochen und Wähler betrogen worden. Wähler hätten einen Anspruch darauf zu wissen, was ihre Stimme bei der Wahl bewirke.

Zu der Islandwahl am Samstag reisen prominente Vertreter der Piratenbewegung aus ganz Europa an, aus Deutschland die Europaabgeordnete Julia Reda, der Bundesvorsitzende Patrick Schiffer und der NRW-Fraktionsvorsitzende Michele Marsching.

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»Unsere Partei konzentriert sich auf die Menschenrechte im digitalen Zeitalter, speziell auf direkte Demokratie«, charakterisierte Birgitta Jonsdottir ihre vier Jahre junge Partei diese Woche. »Wir betrachten uns sozusagen als Hacker unserer derzeitigen veralteten Regierungssysteme.« Islands PIRATEN wollen unter anderem eine crowdgesourcte neue Verfassung mit direkter Demokratie in Kraft setzen, die öffentliche Teilhabe an politischen Entscheidungen verstärken, das Vertrauen der Bürger in die Politik zurückgewinnen und Korruption bekämpfen.
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 Regierungsbündnis  Piratenpartei  Piratar  Patrick Schiffer  Michele Marsching  Slider  Pressemitteilungen  International  Europapolitik  Europa  Demokratie  Julia Reda  Netzpolitik  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Wahlen  Transparenz  Termine  Piratenpartei  wahlen  Unfragen
Pirate Party On Track For A Record Victory In Iceland

PirateTimes
 
Pirate Party On Track For A Record Victory In Iceland

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This is a guest post by Mattias Bjärnemalm, vice-president of Pirate Party Sweden and currently in Iceland for the elections.

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This coming Saturday there will be an election in Iceland, after the Panama scandal forced the Prime Minister to resign and the government to call new elections this summer. It’s impossible, at this point, to say whether the Icelandic Pirate Party will be the largest or second largest party after the election. However, it’s entirely clear that compared to their result of 5.1% in the previous election, this will be an enormous success for them. This will be a large step forward for not just the Icelandic pirates – at the moment of writing, more than thirty pirates from other countries have said that they will travell to Iceland to be there at the election. In that group we can find the leaders for the Swedish, German, Dutch and Slovenian pirate parties, as well as our MEP Julia Reda.

What is it that has made the Icelandic Pirate Party successful? My analysis is that they have succeeded in building upon their previous successes very well. To go from 5% to 20% is an incredible change, but that’s actually not as impressive as the feat of 5.1% in the first election that a party stands in. To understand the Pirates’ success, you have to first understand the circumstances of their election in 2013, half a year after the party’s founding.

This is how ‘The Iceland Blog’ described the situation in 2012:
“Birgitta Jónsdóttir has been elected leader of Píratapartýið. In the Icelandic Pirate’s first policy program there is among other things a call for more transparency in society and increased civil rights. The goal is to get into the Alþingi in the spring elections. The Pirate Party will, above all, be trying to recruit young members who are active on the net. On Saturday the Pirate Party was formally founded at a meeting in Reykjavík. Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who is today an MP for ‘The Movement’, was elected leader of the executive committee. On the committee is also Björn Þór Jóhannesson, Halldóra Mogensen, Jason Scott and Stefán Vignir Skarphéðinsson, as well as Herbert Snorrason and Einar Valur Ingimundarson who were elected by lottery. The goal is to breach the 5% barrier to the Alþingi in April and gain representation in parliament. The Icelandic Pirate Party is aimed mostly towards young and internet-active voters.“

This can be seen as a relatively representative overview of the new party, where the focus was very much on Birgitta. The same blog described their policies in the following way before the election in 2013:
“The Icelandic pirates push classic pirate topics: transparency, freedom of information, direct democracy, public participation and – not necessarily as classic – decriminalization of narcotics. The use of narcotics should, according to the Pirate Party, be handled as a medical and not a legal and judicial problem. They attract mostly young voters from the left. Seen as a bit tougher and not as ‘squeaky clean’ as the Left-Green Movement. The most well-known name in the party is Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who has already had one term in parliament, first as part of ‘Citizen’s Movement’ and then ‘Movement’.“

In short, it’s the fact that they already had an MP from a grassroots movement that is emphasized and that gives the pirates the space they need to succeed at taking themselves over the 5% barrier. With Birgitta’s help they were able to be elected with three MP’s.

The Pirate’s next challenge was to prove that they weren’t just some blip and that they could win elections without celebrity power, which they had a chance to do in the council elections in 2014. There they succeeded, with Halldór Auðar Svansson at the top of the list who was elected into Reykjavík City Council with 5.9%. Through participating in the new municipal government they showed that they were willing to take responsibility in future elections.

Today, the situation is different. The pirates have more candidates with parliamentary experience, and their prime ministerial candidate is Smari McCarthy. He isn’t currently an MP, but Smari was one of the founders of the party and tops one of the lists for a constituency outside Reykjavik (something he also did in the last election when the pirates didn’t reach 5% there). Birgitta remains a central figure in the party and currently proposed as a future speaker of the house for the next parliament. In general, more faces have been brought forward and the pirates are seen as a broad movement in Iceland. After one year of leading the opinion polls, the people of Iceland, and the pirates themselves, have gotten used to the idea that they will probably play a part in the next government.

I don’t think I can emphasize enough how important it would be for the pirate movement globally to have a government with pirate ministers. So it is with great hope that I have packed my bags and booked my journey to Iceland. I flew there for a bit in September to get an idea of who they are and how they work, and I look forward to seeing them again in the coming days. And, of course, there will be a new post here after the election.

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Mattias Bjärnemalm
Vice-president and Net Political spokesperson for Pirate Party Sweden.

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CC-BY, Stefan Rouden

Mattias Bjärnemalm works as an expert in Net Politics in the European Parliament and was previously Head of Cabinet for Amelia Andersdotter’s (ex-MEP) office in Brussels. He is born and raised in Skǻne (southern Sweden) but has also lived and studied in Uppsala, Sweden before moving to Brussels. During his time in Uppsala he founded the Young Pirates Sweden where he was the association Secretary 2006-2009. He was also active in the Pirate Students in Uppsala and sat as a member of the Uppsala University Board 2009-2010.

During his time in Brussels he has worked with several areas within Net Politics such as copyright, net neutrality, data protection, ACTA, IoT and the IANA transition. He is also a frequent visitor to the Internet Governance Forum and EuroDIG.

Mattias was also central in the creation of Young Pirates of Europe and also the European Pirates (where he is currently a board member).

Featured image: CC-BY, Day Donaldson

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A Party That Is About To Change Iceland And The World

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A Party That Is About To Change Iceland And The World

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Pirate Party of Iceland (PPIS) is the first pirate party ever to elect MPs in a national parliament. The founder of the pirate movement, Rick Falkvinge, was absolutely overwhelmed for being present at their latest General Assembly. In his short speech to the pirates, he mentioned the big historical moments of the pirate parties (from Sweden to Germany and now to Iceland) and Rick was warmly applauded when saying:
“You are about to change the world! It only takes one country to say enough is enough. It only takes one country to set the course for the future of civil rights. It only takes one country to tear down the gatekeepers of knowledge. As it seems Iceland is this country and the people in this room are about to write history! Thank you all! I’m so happy for you all!”

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A questions that occupies the mind of pirates worldwide is if pirates in Iceland will take over the helm of the government. Well, only time will tell. The Icelandic Pirates have achieved a lot in a very short time and set the stage for a governmental change that would affect many people. They would not only change their own country but it would lead to a chain reaction for many other countries in Europe and the world. The conditions have been favorable for the Pirate Party in Iceland. The crisis in 2008 allowed grassroots movements to play a leading role in shaping policies in a more active way.

Also, the recent Panama Papers leak shook the country and made citizens turn their attention to Pirates. Pirate Party Iceland have, since April 2015, monopolized the first seat in the polls and continue to do so even today (after a short two months break). The failure, corruption and opacity of the old system has opened the way for the great success of the Pirate Party in Iceland.

Will Icelandic Pirates succeed and take over? It depends on their moves, on how well they organize their human resources, where they are going to spend their funding and how they defend the attacks of the status quo (whom know well how to play the power game). But it is true that Pirates of Iceland have the clear and unambiguous support of their compatriots and it seems that they will be the next government in their country.

The General Assembly of PPIS
Founded in 2012, with three MP’s at the moment in Althingi (the Icelandic Parliament), PPIS is leading the polls again and the climate of the General Assembly (GA) was exciting and full of enthusiasm. Parliamentary elections in Iceland are expected to take place in the coming autumn. Pirates must be prepared for the elections and have internal processes for their candidates.

On June 11-12th about 170 Pirates gathered in Reykjavik to hold the GA. The three MPs were there, as well as new and old members, a new Board and Arbitration Committee was voted, amendments in statutes were made concerning the collaboration between elected representatives, PPIS and citizens. The main thing of the GA was the presentation of the grassroot movement within the party.

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On Saturday, June 11th, Asta Gudrun Helgadóttir (MP) talked about her experiences from the parliament to share her experiences with new potential candidates. The difference between being in a group of three MP’s instead of 20, which means a lot of prioritization.  Birgitta Jónsdóttir (MP) talked about how amazed she was with the success of the PPIS. Birgitta suggested that PPIS, as a political party, should make a ten year plan of where it is collectively headed. “That would improve people’s trust in us” she noted.

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On Sunday, June 12th, Helgi Hrafn (MP) held his speech about critical thinking and told a story about his great-great-great grandfather. Tryggvi Bjarnason was an MP 1911-1913 and made  a law proposal that every library in the country should receive a free copy of every book ever published, at the time this was seen as preposterous. Helgi used this story to draw parallels between the rhetoric used back then and the one which can be seen today.

The elections of the new Board took place as well as the new Arbitration Committee and elections for other committees.

Work of the past Board
The outgoing Board, that started working on September 2015, presented how they had managed and organized the party during this time. Members of PPIS have increased significantly during the past year and they currently have more than 3.200 members. Its electoral influence brought the highest recognition to the party and the work of the outgoing Board was an important part of this. Among their achievements were the operation of Tortuga (the PPIS headquarters), the establishment of seven new departments of the party (throughout Iceland), the Pirate Party 60+ (for older citizens) and the hirings made (a general manager and an election manager).

Tortuga is the headquarters of PPIS which have really given a big push to the party. Tortuga has been a popular meeting place for the executive committee, other committees and councils within the party. Almost every night in the winter, Tortuga was booked for various meetings and discussions. The Board has worked to facilitate and promote the participation of the members in the policies of the party and other social activities.

Another interesting initiative, by Grímur Friðgeirsson, was the establishment of the Pirate Party 60+. The Board welcomes the establishment of the Pirate Party 60+ which concerns older citizens contact with the Pirate ideology.

One of the largest projects for the outgoing Board was to hire staff. After interviewing the most qualified applicants, Sigríður Bylgja Sigurjónsdóttir was hired as the general manager of the party. One of her first tasks was to hire an election manager; Jóhann Kristjánsson was hired (has experience of election management since before).

The changing of the board
The outgoing Board of PPIS consisted of Bergþór Heimir Þórðarson, Birgir Steinarsson, Björn Þór Jóhannesson, Friðfinnur Finnbjörnsson, Gunnar Ingi Berg Gudmundsson, Halldóra Sigrun Ásgeirsdóttir, Herbert Snorrason, Kári Gunnarsson, Sara Oskarsson, Sigmundur Þórir Jónsson, Ms Olga Cilia, Unnar Örn Ólafsson and Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir.

According to their statutes the GA elects five board members and five alternate board members. Additionally, two members are randomly selected to be part of the board and another two members for the alternative board.

Elín Ýr Arnar Hafdísardóttir was elected as the new chairwoman of the PPIS board for 2016-17. Other board members elected were Sunna Rós Víðisdóttir, Þórlaug Ágústsdóttir, Rannveig Ernudóttir, Eysteinn Jónsson. The two randomly selected board members were Halldóra Sigrún Ásgeirsdóttir and Jason Steinþórsson.

Alternate board members elected were Jónas Ingólfur Lövdal, Eiríkur Rafn Rafnsson, Gunnar Grímsson, Sindri Viborg, Guðmundur Hörður. The two randomly selected alternative board members were Daði Ingólfsson and Kári Valur Sigurðsson.
See More photos from the GA of PPIS

Watch Day 1 and Day 2 of the GA on the youtube channel of PPIS

All images under CC-BY-PPIS

The article was co-written by Julius Blomkvist Fridriksson

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 Kári Valur Sigurðsson  Kári Gunnarsson  Ms Olga Cilia  Jónas Ingólfur Lövdal  Jason Steinþórsson  Jóhann Kristjánsson  Herbert Snorrason  Helgi Hrafn  Halldóra Sigrún Ásgeirsdóttir  Gunnar Ingi Berg Gudmundsson  Gunnar Grímsson  Guðmundur Hörður  Grímur Friðgeirsson  Friðfinnur Finnbjörnsson  Iceland  Björn Þór Jóhannesson  Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Birgir Steinarsson  Bergþór Heimir Þórðarson  Asta Gudrun Helgadóttir  General Assembly  Sunna Rós Víðisdóttir  Sigmundur Þórir Jónsson  Sara Oskarsson  Rick Falkvinge  Rannveig Ernudóttir  PPIS  Pirate Party 60+  Sindri Viborg  Sigrid Wave Sigurjónsdóttur  Eysteinn Jónsson  Elín Ýr Arnar Hafdísardóttir  Eiríkur Rafn Rafnsson  Daði Ingólfsson  Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir  Unnar Örn Ólafsson  Tortuga  Þórlaug Ágústsdóttir