Pirate Party (Iceland)

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Pirate Party
Píratar
Founder
Founded 24 November 2012
Headquarters Fiskislóð 31, 101 Reykjavík
Youth wing Ungir Piratar
Membership  (2015) 1,443[1]
Ideology
European affiliation European Pirate Party
Colours          
Purple and Black
Seats in the Althing
10 / 63
Election symbol
P
Website
piratar.is

The Pirate Party (Icelandic: Píratar) is a political party in Iceland. The party's platform is based on pirate politics and direct democracy.[2]

History[edit]

The party was cofounded on 24 November 2012 by Birgitta Jónsdóttir (previously a member of the Movement), and several prominent Internet activists, including Smári McCarthy.[2][3][4][5] The party successfully applied for the ballot list letter Þ (resembling the party's logo) in order to run in the 2013. In July 2016 the party requested and was issued the letter P for future elections.

In their first electoral participation, at the 2013 parliamentary election, the Pirate Party won 5.1% of the votes, just above the 5% threshold required to win representation in the Althing.[2] The three members elected, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson and Jón Þór Ólafsson, were the first pirates elected to any national legislature in the world.[6][7]

Following the Charlie Hebdo shooting on 7 January 2015, the Pirate Party began a campaign to repeal Iceland's blasphemy laws. The laws, which had been introduced in 1940, were successfully repealed in early July 2015. The repeal, introduced by the Pirate Party, read: "Freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones of democracy. It is fundamental to a free society that people should be able to express themselves without fear of punishment, whether from the authorities or from other people."[8] During the vote on the repeal, the three Pirate Party members of the Althing stood and declared "Je suis Charlie", in solidarity with the French satirical magazine.[9]

For around a year from April 2015 to April 2016, the party consistently topped polling for the next Icelandic parliamentary election in 2016, with support roughly equal to the Independence Party and the Progressive Party combined, who are currently partners in a coalition government.[10][11][12]

An MMR opinion poll published in January 2016 put their public support at 37.8%, significantly above that of all other Icelandic political parties.[13]

In April 2016 public protests about the Prime Minister's role in the Panama Papers brought out a significant percentage of the whole population, and may have been among "the largest demonstrations of any kind, in any country, ever (proportionately speaking)".[14] In the wake of the Panama Papers scandal, polls in April 2016 showed the Pirate Party at 43% and the Independence Party at 21.6%.[15]

A poll by the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland with data from 14–19 October 2016 put the Pirate Party in first place in the general election on the 29th of October 2016 with 22.6% of the vote.[16]

In the October 29, 2016 elections, the Pirate Party won 10 seats with 14.5% of the votes in Parliament, up from 3 seats.[17]

Recent issue stances[edit]

European Union[edit]

The party has not officially taken a position in favour of or against Iceland's accession to the European Union. The party has however concluded the following in a party policy on the European Union:[18]

  • Iceland must never become a member of the European Union unless the membership agreement is put to a referendum after having been presented to the nation in an impartial manner.
  • Should Iceland join the European Union, the country shall be a single constituency in elections to the European Parliament.
  • Should Iceland join the European Union, Icelandic shall be one of its official languages.
  • If negotiations on the accession of Iceland to the European Union halt, or membership is rejected by either party, a review of the agreement on the European Economic Area must be sought, to better ensure Iceland's self-determination. It is unacceptable that Iceland need to take up large part of European legislation through a business agreement without getting representatives or audience.
  • The conditions of Pirates for Iceland's membership to the European Union are that Iceland be exempt from adopting the Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC – declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in April 2014[19]) and the regulation regarding enforcement of uncontested claims (1869/2005/EC), which would otherwise defy fundamental human rights.

Edward Snowden[edit]

On 4 July 2013, a bill was introduced in parliament that would, if passed, immediately grant Edward Snowden Icelandic citizenship. The proposer of the bill was Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson (Pirate Party) and it was co-sponsored by the other Pirate Party parliament members, Ögmundur Jónasson (Left-Green Movement), Páll Valur Björnsson (Bright Future) and Helgi Hjörvar (Social Democratic Alliance).[20][21][22][23] A vote was taken to determine whether the bill would be put on parliament's agenda but it did not receive enough support.

Electoral results[edit]

Parliament[edit]

Election # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Position Government
2013 Steady 9,647 Steady 5.10
3 / 63
Steady 3 Steady 6th Opposition
2016 Increase 27.449 Increase 14.48
10 / 63
Increase 7 Increase 3rd Opposition

Municipalities[edit]

Hafnarfjordur Town[edit]

Election # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Position Council
2014 Steady 754 Steady 6.70
0 / 11
Steady 0 Steady 5th Outside

Kopavogur Town[edit]

Election # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Position Council
2014 Steady 554 Steady 4.04
0 / 11
Steady 0 Steady 6th Outside

Reykjanes Town[edit]

Election # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Position Council
2014 Steady 173 Steady 2.48
0 / 11
Steady 0 Steady 6th Outside

Reykjavik City[edit]

The elected representative is Halldór Auðar Svansson.

Election # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Position Council
2014 Steady 3,238 Steady 5.93
1 / 15
Steady 1 Steady 6th Coalition

References[edit]

  1. ^ Samúel Karl Ólason (10 April 2015). "Píratar hafa ekki undan fjölda nýskráninga". visir.is. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Tom Lansford, ed. (2015). Political Handbook of the World 2015. SAGE Publications. p. 2684. ISBN 978-1-4833-7155-9. 
  3. ^ Jacobsen, Stine. "Iceland's Pirates head for power on wave of public anger". Reuters UK. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  4. ^ Andrew Reitemeyer (25 November 2012). "Iceland has a Pirate Party". Reykjavik, Iceland: Pirate Times. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Píratar halda stofnfund" [Pirate Party holds an establishment meeting] (in Icelandic). Reykjavik, Iceland: Árvakur hf. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Steadman, Ian (29 April 2013). "Iceland's Pirate Party scrapes in at national elections". Wired UK. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Eirikur Bergmann (2014). Iceland and the International Financial Crisis: Boom, Bust and Recovery. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-137-33200-4. 
  8. ^ Rawlinson, Kevin (3 July 2015). "Iceland repeals blasphemy ban after Pirate party campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  9. ^ Neuman, Scott (3 July 2015). "Iceland's Pirate Party Wins Repeal Of Blasphemy Law". National Public Radio. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  10. ^ Ward, Alexander (3 May 2015). "Pirate Party surges in polls to become biggest political party in Iceland". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Roberts, Zoe (4 August 2015). "Pirates Largest Party Fourth Month in Row". Iceland Review. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  12. ^ Van der Sar, Ernesto (23 October 2015). "Pirate Party Beats Iceland's Government Coalition in the Polls". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Iceland's Pirate Party takes big lead in polls ahead of election next year". The Independent. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Cory Doctorow (2016-04-07). "Fearing the Pirate Party, Iceland's government scrambles to avoid elections". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  15. ^ Björnsson, Anna Margrét (6 April 2016). "Almost half of Icelandic nation now want the Pirate Party". Iceland Monitor. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  16. ^ "New poll puts Pirates back on course to win Iceland elections". Iceland Monitor. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  17. ^ Iceland’s prime minister resigns, after Pirate Party makes strong gains Alaska News, 1 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016
  18. ^ "Evrópusambandið" (in Icelandic). Pirate Party Iceland. 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. Það er ekki hlutverk stjórnmálaflokka að taka afstöðu með eða á móti aðild en aftur á móti eiga þeir að vera undirbúnir undir hvora niðurstöðuna sem er. 
  19. ^ "The Court of Justice declares the Data Retention Directive to be invalid" (PDF) (Press release). Luxembourg: Court of Justice of the European Union. 8 April 2014. 
  20. ^ Boði Logason (4 July 2013). "Snowden-frumvarp lagt fram á Alþingi" [Snowden-bill introduced in Althing] (in Icelandic). Reykjavik, Iceland: 365. Retrieved 4 July 2013. Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Birgitta Jónsdóttir og Jón Þór Ólafsson þingmenn Pírata, Ögmundur Jónasson þingmaður Vinstri grænna, Páll Valur Björnsson þingmaður Bjartrar framtíðar og Helgi Hjörvar þingmaður Samfylkingarinnar hafa lagt fram frumvarp á Alþingi um að bandaríska uppljóstraranum Edward Snowden verði tafarlaust veittur íslenskur ríkisborgararéttur. 
  21. ^ "Vilja gera Snowden að íslenskum ríkisborgara" [Want to make Snowden an Icelandic citizen] (in Icelandic). Reykjavik, Iceland: Árvakur hf. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013. Fyrsti flutningsmaður er Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, þingmaður Pírata, en meðflutningsmenn eru samflokksmenn hans Birgitta Jónsdóttir og Jón Þór Ólafsson ásamt Ögmundi Jónassyni, þingmanni Vinstrihreyfingarinnar - græns framboðs, Helga Hjörvar, þingmanni Samfylkingarinnar, og Páli Val Björnssyni, þingmann Bjartrar framtíðar. 
  22. ^ "Fær mögulega ríkisborgararétt" [Receives possibly Icelandic citizenship] (in Icelandic). Reykjavik, Iceland: DV ehf. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013. Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Jón Þór Ólafsson, Ögmundur Jónasson, Páll Valur Björnsson og Helgi Hjörvar eru flutningsmenn frumvarpsins. Allir þingmenn Pírata eru flutningsmenn frumvarpsins enda eðlilegt í ljósi þess að samtökin Wikileaks hafa aðstoðað Snowden frá því að hann kom fram. 
  23. ^ "Snowden-frumvarp lagt fram á þingi" [Snowden-bill introduced in parliament] (in Icelandic). Kopavogur, Iceland: Eyjan Media ehf. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013. Að frumvarpinu standa Píratarnir Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Birgitta Jónsdóttir og Jón Þór Ólafsson, Ögmundur Jónasson, VG, Páll Valur Björnsson, Bjartri Framtíð og Helgi Hjörvar, Samfylkingunni. 

External links[edit]