Iceland's Pirate Party Makes Strong Showing in New Election
'Like Robin Hood, because Robin Hood was a pirate, we want to take the power from the powerful to give it to the people.'
Iceland's Pirate Party has tripled its seats in the 63-seat parliament, Saturday night's election results show.
Birgitta Jonsdottir, the leader of the Pirate Party, said she was satisfied with the result. “Whatever happens, we have created a wave of change in the Icelandic society,” she told a cheering crowd early Sunday morning.
The Pirates won 10 seats, more than tripling its three seats in the last election. The Left-Green Party also won 10 seats Saturday.
The left-leaning parties — the Left-Greens, the Pirates and two allies — won a total of 27 seats, just short of the 32 required to command a majority in Iceland’s Parliament, the world’s oldest.
The governing center-right Progressive party lost more than half of its seats in the election which was triggered by Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson 's resignation in April in the wake of the leaked Panama Papers which revealed the offshore assets of high-profile figures.
Current Prime Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson said he would resign on Sunday.
The anti-establishment Pirate Party, which was founded in 2012, had said it could be looking to form a coalition with three left-wing and centrist parties.
The Pirates' core issues are: direct democracy, freedom of expression, civil rights, net neutrality, and transparency, all set out in a popular, crowdsourced draft of a new national Constitution that the current government has failed to act on. They also seek to re-nationalize the country's natural resource industries, create new rules for civic governance, and issue a passport to Edward Snowden.
— Fabio Reinhardt (@Enigma424) October 30, 2016
Pirate Party founder and MP Birgitta Jonsdottir said she was "very satisfied" with the result.
"Our internal predictions showed 10 to 15%, so this is at the top of the range. We knew that we would never get 30%," Ms Jonsdottir told Reuters. “We want to see trickle-down ethics rather than make-believe trickle-down economics,” Ms. Jonsdottir, 49, who is also a former WikiLeaks activist, said
“We are a platform for young people, for progressive people who shape and reshape our society,” Ms. Jonsdottir told Agence France-Presse. “Like Robin Hood, because Robin Hood was a pirate, we want to take the power from the powerful to give it to the people.”
Turnout in Iceland was 79.2%! If the US got anywhere near that, this would be a dramatically more progressive country. pic.twitter.com/9uCBBewNz2
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) October 30, 2016