Pirate Party wins seats in Icelandic election
Three MPs to free MP3s
Not content with serving as a catalyst for the global financial crisis, Iceland has elected three members of the Pirate Party to its national Parliament.
Iceland's Alþingi (“Althing” in English) is a single-chambered parliament that has met since the tenth century and says it is the world's oldest such legislature. The nation is divided into six constituencies, each of which elects nine representatives. Constituencies with larger populations also have one or two “levelling seats” to ensure the value of a vote remains constant across the nation. Proportional representation is used to elect candidates.
Iceland's three most urban constituencies – Reykjavik North, Reykjavik South and the Soutwest Distric – have elected Pirate Party candidates and the party secured a little over five per cent of the national vote.
The newly-elected parliamentarians are programmer Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson (who appears to have GitHub and Stack Overflow accounts), Wikileaks volunteer Birgitta Jónsdóttir and business student Jón Þór Ólafsson.
The logo of Iceland's Pirate Party
Pirate Party founder Rick Falvinge has hailed the wins as a big moment for the party, as it marks the first time Pirate Party candidates have made it into a national parliament.
The Icelandic Pirate Party has a broad platform http://www.piratar.is/stefnumal/grunnstefna/, with civil rights, transparency, privacy and freedom of expression its key concerns. Direct democracy is another policy platform. The Party has even posted a sign language version of its policies on YouTube http://youtu.be/wAbTksyxI9U.
It doesn't look likely those policies will get up, as the elections produced a likely coalition of a centre-right Independence Party and the Centrist progressive Party. Both wish to stop Iceland's entry to the European Union, which could excite the Pirate Party's support given its policies emphasise personal liberty.
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