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PPIS Ranked Third But Won The Elections In Effect

 
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
Why Icelandic Elections Are More Important Than American

 
Why Icelandic Elections Are More Important Than American

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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
The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

 
The General Assembly 2016 of Pirate Parties International

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Since January I was busy on several levels in organizing the general assembly together with some Pirates: Jessica Zinn from Berlin (Germany), Jelena Jovanovic from Belgrade (Serbia) and former Chairman of PPI, Andrew Reitemeyer from Pongaroa (New Zealand). We were appointed from the board as the general assembly committee.

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PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

I did the supervision of the preparations, setting up the event website and gathered information about all things to organize and communicate with the board members about the progress done. Jelena took over the part of social media and communication with potential speakers and lecturers for workshops. Jessica was taking care of the location, social events and drinks/catering, Andrew set up a crowdfunding campaign for pirates, spreading calls for volunteers and getting in touch with delegates from pirate parties all over the world. On July 22nd, nearly everything was set up.

Friday evening, the unofficial start of the GA begun with our social event at “Holzmarkt” at the Spree waterside, where several pirates gathered for a meet and greet. About 30 pirates were chatting and laughing, greeting and discussing. What a great evening and joy to meet so many great people of our movement!

Saturday morning, the start of the general assembly was delayed nearly two hours because of remote delegates searching their proxies on the ground, although we set up several meetings before on Mumble, where nobody attended. A pity, really. And live streaming also wasn’t starting on time, because of technical matters (Unfortunately the Sunday recording went wrong). That was really awkward. Unfortunately, it added up with some dissatisfaction on our Mumble server, because remote delegates wanted to vote themselves and weren’t heard by the chair of the assembly (which was sorted out later). Pirate Party Canada left PPI for reasons (this will be part of another article). To be honest, at this point of the agenda, I was torn apart.

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PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

But to be fair: this time PPI GA was organized in a way that has not been done before: Speakers from all walks of life, and not necessarily connected to Pirate Party, additionally very interesting workshops added to the scene. That was marvelous. Despite the delayed start of the assembly, I opened the assembly and keynote speakers took over: Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party in Sweden and Bruno Kramm, chairman of Berlin Pirates both held inspirational speeches. They were discussing the future of the Pirate movement and looking back ten years to reflect of its greatest achievements.

The agenda included special guests: Christian Mihr (Reporters Without Borders), Lauri Love and top (Anon Uk Radio tuned in via video conference). Workshops on Saturday were done by Norbert Scheppers with “The Drone Wars” (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) and a hacking WiFi routers workshop “Occupy Wifi” held by Israeli Pirate from Haifa, Yoav Lifshitz and “Crowdsourcing an European Constitution” with Netherlands’ Pirate Thomas de Groot.

Back to general assembly – new observer members of Pirates Parties International were accepted:

* Internet Party Serbia
* New York Pirate Party
* Pirate Party North Rhine-Westfalia

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PPI GA – Photo CC-BY-NC by Mike Herbst

The assembly did make some other decisions on Saturday as well: the future seat of PPI is going to be Geneva in Switzerland. A statutes amendment passed, which says that the board is elected for two years with rotation among the board members by electing every year only a part of it (SAP-5 Term of Office). After several other statutes amendments and the reports of the board there were the elections of the board:

– Chairperson – Guillaume Saouli / PP-CH (2 years)
– Vice-Chairperson – Bailey Lamon / PP-CA (1 year)
– Board Member – Andrew Reitemeyer / PP-NZ  (2 years)
– Board Member – Keith L. Goldstein / PP-IL (1 year)
– Board Member – Thomas Gaul / PP-DE (2 years)
– Board Member – Raymond Johansen / PP-NO (1 year)
– Board member – Koen de Voegt / PP-BE (2 years)

Meanwhile, I’ve presented the relaunch of the website of Pirate Parties International.

Sunday had some incredible speakers and workshops as well: Bernd Fix (Wau Holland Foundation, Chaos Computer Club) held an amazing talk about “Digital disobedience”, which left a lot of impressions.

Alternate board members were elected:

1. Alternate Board member Nikolay Voronov / PP-RU (2 years)
2. Alternate Board member Patrick Schiffer / PP-DE (1 year)
3. Alternate Board member Adam Wolf / PP-DE (2 years)
4. Alternate Board member Gregory Engels / PP-DE (1 year)

Court of arbitration:

Kjell Segers PP-BE
Jelena Jovanović PP-RS
Carlo von Lösch PP-IT
Denis Simonet PP-CH
Sebastian Krone PP-DE
Tom J. Quitter PP-JP

Lay auditors:

Mikulas Peksa / PP-CZ
Frantisek Navrkal / PP-CZ
Harry Hensler / Pirate without Borders

In between there was a presentation of the upcoming merchandising shop of PPI, which was set up by Gordon, Thomas and me. There still needs to be some translations and technical work, it’s going to be launched on August 8th.

At the end of the general assembly, there were interesting speeches by Joe Fionda (The Hacker Wars) and Alex Kohler (Pirate Security Conference) from Pirate Party Germany. Finally all remaining pirates helped with uncluttering the room and had some nice socializing in the open yard of the location.
You can read more in the minutes of the PPI GA .

A very nice greeting to PPI from the President of Liberland, Vit Jedlička.

A gallery of pictures from the assembly by Mike Herbst.

Bert van der Lingen (PPNL) wrote a short essay about his visit of the general assembly (in Dutch).

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 General Assembly  Adam Wolf  Alex Kohler  Andrew Reitemeyer  Anon UK radio  Bailey Lamon  Bernd Fix  Bert van der Lingen  Bruno Kramm  Carlo von Losh  Chaos Computer Club  Christian Mihr  Denis Simonet  Frantisek Navrkal  Gregory Engels  Guillaume Saouli  Harry Hensler  Internet Party Serbia  Jelena Jovanovic  Jessica Zinn  Joe Fionda  Keith Goldstein  Kjell Segers  Koen De Voegt  Lauri Love  Mike Herbst  Mikuláš Peksa  New York Pirate Party  Nikolay Voronov  Norber Scheppers  Occupy Wifi  Patrick Schiffer  Pirate Party North Rhine-Westfalia  PPCA  PPDE  PPI  raymond johansen  Reporters Without Borders  Rick Falkvinge  Rosa Luxemburg Foundation  Sebastian Krone  Thomas de Groot  Thomas Gaul  Tom Quitter  top  Vit Jedlicka  Wau Holland Foundation  Yoav Lifshitz
A Party That Is About To Change Iceland And The World

 
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