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PPIS Ranked Third But Won The Elections In Effect

PirateTimes
 
PPIS Ranked Third But Won The Elections In Effect

Bild/Foto
Although Pirate Party of Iceland (PP-IS) finally ranked third in the number of votes, it gained so much more publicity than any other party and having an open possibility to be part of the next government, it can be considered to have won the elections practically!

After the recent failure of Berlin Pirates in September, who lost 15 seats in the parliament of Berlin, the tripling of the number of seats held by PP-IS was what the Pirate movement needed to recover morale. In only three and a half years since its entering parliament, PP-IS 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. PP-IS 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 could to participate in the next government.

Besides this great electoral success, the most important thing 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 the election date many Pirates traveled to Iceland to experience this historic moment.

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

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, Italy created a cheering atmosphere that was live streamed.

See more pictures from the events at piratesforiceland.party

The media were gripped by frenzy about the Pirate movement

There were countless references in the media about PP-IS 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 that publicity will have an great impact in the electoral influence of the Pirate parties in countries, where already Pirate parties exist and will 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, of course in Sweden, the birthplace of the Pirate movement, with intense interest. In Israel, the Israeli left 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

Τhe key features of the elections

1) No party has a simple majority needed to form a government because none of them received needed  32 seats out of 63 in the Althingi (Icelandic Parliament). Thus all elected parties will have to negotiate. PP-IS announced , two days before the election, the results of negotiations with theLeft – Green Movement, Bright Future and the Social Democratic Alliance (now representing 27 seats). The Independence and Progressive Parties gathered 29 seats but 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.

The final results are:

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

Invalid/blank votes 5,574

Total 195,204

Registered voters 246,515 Turnout 79.19%

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 the 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 women MPs, a unique record in the history of Iceland and the world’s parliamentary history. The MP’s of PP-IS are equal 5 men and 5 women!

4) The turnout of the voters was low for Icelandic standards. It was below 80% . Itcould 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, Halldóra Mogensen, gave a press conference commenting on the outcome of the elections and what the Pirate Party is going to do. According to the them the landscape after the elections is complicated not only in the political level but in practicality, 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 yarrr’s from all over the world…”

Meet the 10 Pirate MP’s of PP-IS

PP-IS elected Pirate MP’s in all the regions of Iceland as it follows:

Reykjavik North (3)

Bild/Foto

Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a poetician and one of the founders of the Pirate Party in Iceland. She has been an MP for both the “Movement” and PP-IS. 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.”

Bild/Foto

Björn Leví Gunnarsson reelected 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.”

Bild/Foto

Halldóra Mogensen has been a

parliamentrydeputy and she has, among others, submitted a resolution on unconditional basic income. A profound sense of justice and a desire to benefit her community benefit 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)

Bild/Foto

Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir 26 years old and a reelected MP. In the Parliament, she has undertaken a variety of issues in many fields and made an impact on the ownership of Landsbanki. 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.

Bild/Foto

Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson 35 years has worked as a journalist. He has  a BSc in Social Sciences and lived in UK and Netherlands, China, Germany and Iceland. After moving home in 2006 he was a journalist with the “Reykjavik Grapevine” and then a reporter on “RUV“. He has a 3 years old daughter and he is a real bun but overcame his stand-up comedy contest funniest man in Iceland in 2012

Southwest (2)

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Jón Þór Ólafsson Former pirate MP, he made headlines when he left the parliament and returned to work on asphalt. He is married and has two children. During this term of office he got busy, among others, with 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 lot of the elderly and disabled. “I became member of  the Pirats when I realized that the Pirate Party stands for human rights protection and democratic reforms of our time.”

Bild/Foto

Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir She has graduated from the University of Utrecht in international and human rights law. Her key issues concerning 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)

Bild/Foto

Eva Pandora Baldursdóttir Born in Sauðárkrókur in 1990, 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 grown and the issues that remain in focus with her are health, education, housing, corruption, agriculture and equality.

Northeast (1)

Bild/Foto

Einar Aðalsteinn Brynjólfsson He has mostly been teaching, of which 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)

Bild/Foto

Smári McCarthy was the Technical Director of 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, The End of Artificial Scarcity.

All images from piratar.is and piratar.island (facebook) CC BY-SA

Bild/Foto
 PPIS  Iceland  elections  Pirate History  Election
PPIS Ranked Third But Won The Elections In Effect

PirateTimes
 
PPIS Ranked Third But Won The Elections In Effect

Bild/Foto
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)
Bild/Foto

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.”

Bild/Foto

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.”

Bild/Foto

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)
Bild/Foto

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.

Bild/Foto

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)
Bild/Foto

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”.

Bild/Foto

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)
Bild/Foto

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)
Bild/Foto

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)
Bild/Foto

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

Bild/Foto
 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
Everything you want to know about Pirate Party Iceland

PirateTimes
 
Everything you want to know about Pirate Party Iceland

Bild/Foto
Pirate Times has followed the progress of Pirate Party Iceland (PPIS) since the foundation of the party. Over the years we have written extensively about PPIS. This article will list links to our coverage of PPIS together with information straight from PPIS and some of the international news stories from the past few days. With these links you can spend a few hours reading up on their history whilst waiting for the results which are predicted to start coming in around midnight European time.

Live-stream to follow the results
www.piratesforiceland.party

#PiratesForIceland on twitter

Pirate Times articles
September 29, 2012 Send A Friend To Ndaa Jail
November 25, 2012 Iceland Has A Pirate Party
November 23, 2012 A Busy Weekend For Pirates On The International Stage
January 5, 2013 Icelandic Authorities Blocking Piratepad As “hate-speech”
February 2, 2013 Iceland’s Pirate Party Leader Plans Risky Trip To Usa
April 10, 2013 Pirate Party Iceland Polling At 7.8% With 17 Days Left Until Elections
April 25, 2013 Report From Iceland #1
April 26, 2013 Report From Iceland #2
April 27, 2013 Iceland Report #3 ; Final Campaigning For A Better Iceland
April 28, 2013 Iceland Report #4 : History Made By A Hair’s Breadth
May 3, 2013 Pirate Times Quiz Iceland Special
May 5, 2013 Iceland Report #5: A Look Back
May 25, 2013 PPI’s New Board Carries Hopes And A Big Weight
June 23, 2013 Ed Snowden’s Bid For Asylum – Live Updates
August 3, 2013 The Game Of Politics : Book Review
August 20, 2013 Icelandic Pirates Found A Youth Wing
August 22, 2013 Iceland’s Parliament Viewer, Keeping Track Of Politicians
September 29, 2013 Solving Democracy Through Technology: Introducing Wasa2il
October 17, 2013 Birgitta Jónsdòttir’s Dream For A Model Iceland
February 3, 2014 Pirates Nominate Chelsea Manning And Edward Snowden For Nobel Peace Prize
May 28, 2014 Icelandic Pirates Prepared To Do Well In Municipal Elections
June 3, 2014 Iceland Election Results A Nail-biting Finish
July 29, 2014 Protesting Parliament Bills In Iceland Is Easy
August 21, 2014 Two Nordic Pirate Parties Change The Hands On The Helm
January 9, 2015 Birgitta Jónsdottir Will Advocate For Freedom Of Internet In Prague
April 20, 2015 Icelandic Pirates: Ppis Vote To Leave Ppi And Birgitta Only Politician To Increase In Trust
May 5, 2015 Show Notes: The Order Of The Pirate Unicorn Podcast 003
May 22, 2015 Show Notes And Podcast: The Order Of The Pirate Unicorn Podcast 005
May 23, 2015 Interview With A German Pirate Living In Iceland
May 27, 2015 Show Notes And Podcast: The Order Of The Pirate Unicorn Podcast 006
June 10, 2015 Show Notes And Podcast: The Order Of The Pirate Unicorn Podcast 008
June 25, 2015 Birgitta’s Jónsdóttir: We, The People, Are The System
July 5, 2015 In A True Democracy Referenda Should Be The Rule Not The Exception
July 20, 2015 The First Ppeu Council Meeting: Moving Right Along
September 2, 2015 Iceland’s Pirates Have A New Steering Committee
October 7, 2015 PPIS Is Largest Party On Iceland For 6th Month
April 4, 2016 Re-elections Looming Close As Iceland Hits A Political Scandal
April 5, 2016 It’s Time For The Pirates
April 6, 2016 The Schrödinger’s Prime Minister Of Iceland
April 6, 2016 Pirate Party Iceland Polling At 43%, Almost A Majority
April 7, 2016 Pirate Party Iceland And Their Path To Popularity
April 8, 2016 Icelandic Status Quo: Out With The Old, In With The Old
April 21, 2016 Icelandic Pirates On The Verge Of Government – Can We Help?
April 25, 2016 A Wind Of Change – Iceland, Brazil, Uk, France, Usa
May 8, 2016 Iceland Pirates Get Loot While Progressive Party Suffers
July 8, 2016 Moving To Iceland For The Pirate Party
July 11, 2016 A Party That Is About To Change Iceland And The World
August 13, 2016 Election Date Set As Icelandic Pirates Hold Primaries
October 27, 2016 Pirate Party On Track For A Record Victory In Iceland
October 27, 2016 Why Icelandic Elections Are More Important Than American

Official Pirate Party Iceland sources
Website
Election Manifest in EnglishFacebookTwitterYoutubeAMA with PPIS, Oct 22nd

Some Recent International News
Pirates poised to take over Iceland Politico.eu
Pirates Take Over Iceland, and the Week’s Other Big News WIRED
Iceland’s Pirate Party could actually win big in the next election Mashable
Iceland’s Pirate Party sails from radical fringe to political contender Washington Post
Will Iceland get a Pirate prime minister? BBC News
Iceland election: Pirate Party looks to make gains BBC News
Can Iceland’s Pirate Party Win the Election? Bloomberg
Iceland’s Pirate party Reuters
Iceland election: polling day arrives with Pirate party looking for gains The Guardian
Iceland, a land of Vikings, braces for a Pirate Party takeover Washington Post
Everything You Need to Know About Iceland’s Pirate Party TIME
Hacker-founded Pirate Party could win Iceland election USA TODAY
The Pirate Party could sail to victory in Iceland, poll shows CBC.ca
Iceland’s Pirate Party aims for new gains on election day Toronto Star
Iceland’s Pirate Party Loves Hackers, Drugs & Revolution Daily Beast
Pirate Party Poised for Power as Icelanders Cast Their Ballots Bloomberg
Iceland’s anti-establishment Pirate Party eyes power in a snap election Daily Mail
Iceland’s Pirate Party Could be On Course to Win Iceland’s Election NBC New York
Pirate party prepares for first major win in Iceland elections New Scientist
Will the radical Pirate Party take over Iceland? Toronto Sun
Iceland’s Pirate Party Could be On Course to Win Iceland’s Election NBCNews.com
A Pirate Party Floats on Europe’s Populist Wave Wall Street Journal
The Pirate Party could form the next Icelandic government VICE News
Iceland’s Pirate Party set to make gains at election International Business Times UK
Iceland’s radical Pirate party senses victory in parliamentary poll euronews
How Hacker and ‘Pirate‘ Birgitta Jónsdóttir Revolutionized Iceland’s Politics Fortune
Pirate parties across the world fail to replicate Iceland success International Business Times UK

Featured image: from piratesforiceland.party

Bild/Foto
 Election  Iceland  PPIS
Why Icelandic Elections Are More Important Than American

PirateTimes
 
Why Icelandic Elections Are More Important Than American

Bild/Foto
On Saturday, in the shade of the American presidential elections that dominates the daily global news, some more important elections are going to be held. They will take place in the land of ice and snow, the most northern country of Europe, Iceland.

This election is important because in Iceland we don’t have the usual “pretenders” to the power, but a party that symbolizes the fight between the old world that is dying and the new one that is rising. The old is a traditional right-wing, conservative party which gives all power to the politicians. They stand against the radical, which believes in power of the base of the society, the grass root movements, the collective intelligence.

In USA we have the presidential election process with the two parties system, inherently undemocratic, which discourages voters’ participation. A system of “the winner takes it all” that decreases the importance of other political parties. In Iceland no single political party has ever governed the country, because no one has ever received the majority of the votes. All governments have always been coalition governments with the participation of two or more parties. The world’s first female prime minister was elected here in 1980 and in 2009 the first elected openly gay head of government. In short, on one hand we have the perpetuation of a situation and on the other the transition from the old to the new.

Elections in Iceland are more important than the US presidential election because something great is about to happen in Iceland, a change is gonna come for the good of humanity, the evolution of democracy. They are more important for the future of democracy and politics. Impacting civil and human rights, citizens’ participation in decision making processes, transparency, freedom of speech for the individuals and the media, the ratification of the first ever crowd-sourced Constitution. The new world and its values will emerge in Iceland, the old will sink and many other countries will follow.

Collective intelligence VS traditional politics (the silence of the media)
Although politicians supposedly are elected to represent the interests of citizens (of the many) they end up representing alien interests (of the few). They betray peoples’ trust and the recent Panama Papers leak is the greatest evidence. How can we oppose a system to the traditional politics? The answer lies in the collective, participatory democracy, by introducing the involvement of the citizens in decision making; It lies in the collective wisdom and intelligence, that can guarantee a better future.

In fact, a sort of collective intelligence has been practiced in Iceland, by the mobilization of the people and the revision of the country’s new Constitution. It was approved in 2012 in a referendum by more than 2/3 votes, but it still hasn’t been ratified by the parliament.

Passing through very difficult times citizens realized that they have to participate to not let politicians decide their future. The citizens took part both in a physical and a digital manner (the revision of the Constitution was made through the internet and social networks). The awareness of Icelandic citizens came through the crash that the country experienced in 2008.

However, the media (with a few exceptions) has not risen the attention to the recent situation before the elections (polls foreshadow that Pirates will be the winners). The media has also remained silent about a series of events that have taken place in Iceland. More specifically, how the country reacted when the IMF knocked on its door. This is why and how its leadership were forced by the citizens to mobilize in different roads than the traditional channels of reaction.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, professor of Economics at the University of Iceland, is one of 25 representatives in Iceland‘s Constitutional Council (in session from April to July 2011). He was elected by the nation and appointed by parliament to revise Iceland’s constitution and writes the following in opendemocracy.net:
“…Faced by pots- and pans-banging crowds in Parliament Square in Reykjavík in late 2008 and early 2009, the politicians admitted failure, accepting the protesters’ demands for, among other things, a new constitution…”.

There were also a banking debt referenda in 2010. The ‘Icelandic loan guarantees repayment referendum’ was defeated, with 98% voting against and less than 2% in favor and in 2011 it was also rejected by a majority of 60%. The silence of the media of the so called “Icelandic example” made it remain unknown by many.

Greece, the most southern European country, did not follow Iceland’s pathway, instead it accepted IMF. If Greece would have reacted in a parallel way to Iceland then things would surely have been tougher for the elites and better for the Greeks – but it’s never too late.

A swarm of pirates can bring real change
Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the pirate movement, has written a book titled “Swarmwise: The tactical manual to changing the world” that perfectly matches the case of the Icelandic pirate party.

A bunch of pirates (or better “a swarm of pirates”), founded the Pirate party of Iceland on November 2012 and on April 2013 they managed to elect three MPs in the Icelandic parliament. Since then its’ electoral influence was steadily growing. Looking at the polls we can see that Pirates ranked first for more than a year and now they are about to change not only Iceland but the entire world.

The swarm of Icelandic pirates redefines politics with their honesty. This attracts their fellow citizens who are sick and tired of the traditional parties and in search for something new. The “new” is the pirates, described as an anti-system party. Pirate Party Iceland chooses to not have a leader and instead deploying a collective leadership, which introduces direct democracy and espouses the participation of the citizens in deliberative and decision making processes.

Falkvinge, in his interview with Pirate Times, said:
“How a swarm of pirates can redefine politics”, among others commented that pirates are distinguished for their activism: “…It’s just that they’re not identifying as politicians – they’re identifying as activists in opposition to the politicians. What we’re doing is making the leap and bringing our values, the values of the net generation, into politics. In such a way, we are redefining what politicians and politics can be.”

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Pirates: “we can hear you”
Can you hear us now?” is the title of the campaign of the Icelandic Constitution Society (ICS) which aims to send a clear message to the politicians and reminds them who they work for. ICS wrote:
“We are asking voters in Iceland — whether on the right or left — to commit to vote only for parties that have promised to ‘make ratifying a constitution based on the 2012 draft a top priority in the new government.'”

Pirates have already said they will recognize the new Constitution.

Taking into account what has been happening in Iceland since 2008 and looking at the polls you can realize that the time for a change has come. That’s the message Icelanders send to all of us. They reject a political system that has been tested but failed and they do not want to waste any more time with that. They want to experiment with something new, since the mix of the old materials can not bring any different results! In a way, it looks like the Pirate Party in Iceland will come into power very soon.

If the Pirate Party Iceland forms the new government it will affect politics worldwide and surely increase Pirate parties’ influence in other countries. Let’s look at the citizens of Iceland and listen to their message. Especially the American voters should listen and think twice to whom and why they put their trust and vote on, some days later.

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Further links related on the Icelandic Constitution reform:
Articles and videos on canyouhearus.isThe website of the Constitutional CouncilBlueberry Soup: How Iceland changed the way we think about the world” (A film directed by Eileen Jerrett)
The Pirate Party of IcelandThe candidates 2016 of the Icelandic Pirate Party

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 Election  Iceland  Icelandic Constitution Society  IMF  panama papers  PPIS  Rick Falkvinge  Swarmwise  Thorvaldur Gylfason
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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 Birgitta Jónsdóttir  Guest Opinion  Election  Herbert Snorrason  Stefán Vignir Skarphéðinsson  Smari McCarthy  PPIS  Halldóra Mogensen  Halldór Auðar Svansson  Jason Scott  Einar Valur Ingimundarson  Björn Þór Jóhannesson
Election Date Set as Icelandic Pirates Hold Primaries

PirateTimes
 
Election Date Set as Icelandic Pirates Hold Primaries

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After much anticipation, the Icelandic coalition partners have announced the date of the early election to be held this autumn as 29 October 2016. The Prime Minister, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, who only assumed the office in April, met with opposition party leaders before making his announcement, who reportedly approved the date. Sigurður did offer the caveat that “Judging by how matters progressed in parliament this spring and summer, we expect that that will happen.”

The coalition government had been reluctant to set a date for the election, as they still had a number of pieces of legislation they wished to pass. As late as 10 August, the agriculture and fishing minister told RÚV Radio: “Let’s make it clear that as soon as we have a set date, that gives the opposition a certain weapon; then it can hold parliament hostage and determine exactly what resolutions will pass in parliament. It can, in fact dictate the schedule with a filibuster or demands. That’s the reason we can’t set the date ahead of time.” He said there were over 50 individual pieces of legislation waiting to be passed.

This means the political campaigning can now enter full swing. The three most recent polls have put the Pirate Party as almost neck and neck with the Independence Party, one of the two current coalition partners. The most recent Gallup poll, from 29 July, put the Pirate Party in second place on 25.3%, and Independence in first with 26.2%. With current polling, a possible result could be a three-way coalition between the Pirate Party, the Left-Green Movement and the Social Democratic Alliance. Support for the other coalition partner, the Progressive Party, has collapsed since Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resigned as Prime Minister in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations. Another interesting development is the rise of new party Viðreisn, which split from the Independence Party, and may attract votes from Icelanders on the right. It is currently polling around 9%.

Based on the 2013 results, with 25% support the Pirate Party is likely to win just under 20 seats, out of the 63 seats up for election in the parliament. In readiness for the election, the party is holding primaries to select the candidates in each constituency. In the primaries, 17 candidates are hoping to stand in the South Constituency, 24 in the North Constituency, and 102 across the capital’s four constituencies, which adds up to 143 people vying to be Pirate Party candidates in total. Already, the results are in from the primary in the South Constituency, with party co-founder Smári McCarthy topping the list. The primaries in the capital constituencies ends on 12 August, and the primary in the North Constituency ends on 15 August. Within a few months, these people will almost certainly be part of the largest party in the Icelandic parliament, no small achievement.

Editors note: 29 October 2016 is the tentative date set but it’s still not formal. The current government demands that some legislation be passed for the election to happen at that date. Thus, if you book a trip to Iceland – to be part of the historic event – make sure it’s a refundable or changeable flight since the date may still change.

Featured image by Democracy Chronicles, CC-BY 2.0.

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 Election  Iceland  Pirate Party of Iceland  PPIS
A Party That Is About To Change Iceland And The World

PirateTimes
 
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
Moving to Iceland for the Pirate Party

PirateTimes
 
Moving to Iceland for the Pirate Party

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This is a guest post by Hugi Ásgeirsson, Pirate Party Sweden/Iceland
On August 11th, I’m moving back home to Reykjavík to do my part for the Icelandic Pirate Party. I feel that Iceland is poised for real change. I love my life, my job, my friends and my community in Stockholm, so this has not been an easy decision. But this opportunity is unique. People in Iceland are pushing for a new kind of politics and a better society. And we really need a new kind of politics, not only in Iceland, but also in Europe and the world. I feel that a lot of people in Iceland are moving past anger, and onto hope for progress.

Perhaps this is happening there first because we were the first to suffer the recession and because we’ve were the first to start cleaning up the mess. Perhaps my coming and going, observing Iceland from afar, has made me see this change in a particularly stark light. I saw it in the recent presidential election, where measured reflection won over pomp and arrogance. I saw it in the Icelandic football fans, who charmed Europe with positive energy, love and sportsmanship. And I’ve seen it in the Icelandic Pirate Party, that has radiated honesty and trust in the people.

I will be helping the Pirate Party in any way I can, and time will tell how I can best serve the cause. Primary elections for the list of candidates for parliament have just started, and I’ve humbly put my name in the running, which is decided democratically in an online vote by party members. If called upon, I will stand for election. If not, I will do all that I possibly can to campaign, to build the organisation and help define our political agenda. I will do my best to learn from those around me, use my network and bring people and ideas together to strengthen the foundation of our platform.

As many of you know, this is not the first time I join a Pirate Party. I was seventeen years old when the Swedish Pirate Party was founded in 2006, and I joined on day one. Politicians didn’t understand the internet or how society was about to change, and I’m afraid they still don’t, event though that change is looking them straight in the eye. When we first started collecting signatures to help form the Swedish Pirate Party, we knew that a great paradigm shift was taking place. This was before WikiLeaks or Bitcoin. Before Android and iPhone. Before Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Teachers and scholars mocked Wikipedia. We, the online young, were frustrated that society wouldn’t listen. This force could be harnessed for good, to educate, to empower, to liberate. Instead, the establishment saw it as a threat to be contained, regulated and limited. In 2007, I became the first chairman of the youth wing “Young Pirates”. With our unconventional style, we started getting noticed, but life took me in a different direction, and in 2008 I moved to Reykjavík to study at the University of Iceland. Later, I moved to China for two years, and it wasn’t until 2016 that I returned to the Pirates, this time in Iceland.

I believe that Icelandic Pirate politics have taken the original idea to its next logical conclusion. As the power to connect, publish and share was moved into our hands, our view of authority has changed. It is as if power has become liquid and shifts faster than before. Some people have become uneasy, looking to strong old-school leaders with simple solutions to force their world back into a solid shape. Pirates believe that this is a futile effort. What we need is a new paradigm for leadership to navigate an unpredictable ocean. Pirates ask questions, are curious and dare to change their minds in light of new evidence. Leaders should be nodes who empower the ones around them that need to be heard and who listen for valuable perspectives. We need to see the wisdom of our communities as our greatest asset. At the same time, we need to hone our moral courage and take action for what we believe is just. I have seen this quality in the Icelandic Pirates, and that is our most important asset.

We have a lot of exciting work ahead of us. A new constitution for Iceland. Important work to protect and secure the environment. Visions for a better society that reach far beyond short sighted term-by-term politics. But perhaps most importantly, if anything else is to succeed, we need to rebuild trust in politics and democracy. I’m putting my trust with the Pirates.
Bild/FotoHugi Ásgeirsson is a serial community builder and organizer. He is involved in building creative communities, participatory festivals and open social spaces in Stockholm and has also worked as a magazine editor, an english teacher and most recently as a web developer. He loves literature, philosophy, art, science and hiking.

Featured image: cropped from copyright with permission Hugi Ásgeirsson

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 Guest Opinion  Hugi Ásgeirsson  Iceland  PPIS  PPSE