2016: The Year That Icelandic Pirates Shook The System

2016: The Year That Icelandic Pirates Shook The System

2016 will be remembered for the unprecedented and monumental acceptance of the pirate movement by citizens at a national level!

We are very happy to see that the first decade of the pirate movement was completed and celebrated by a great electoral success; The officially recorded 14.48% of the votes in favor of the Pirate party of Iceland (PP-IS), on last October’s parliamentary elections! PPIS reached new heights for the pirate movement by electing 10 MPs, and by receiving a mandate from the president of Iceland in order to form a governmental coalition.

As we are now entering the second decade of the movement, anything is open to happen!

But, if there was a prize of “political and electoral behavior,” then surely this year it would be given to the 27.449 Icelander voters who deliberately rejected the traditional parties and preferred to vote in favor of the Pirate party, in favor of the new politics that express the digital age, and in step with the modern world in which we live in.

That world stands for simple things, that can be done easily without any high cost! Things like transparency, the protection of privacy, the reviewing of the legislation on copyright and patents, net neutrality, the change of governance model to that of the direct participation of citizens at all levels and phases of consultation and decision-making,

Thanks to them, the voice of the new world will be heard in the parliament!

Thanks to them, it is now proven that 27.449 people can really shake up the system of traditional politics worldwide, by voting for a party which is named “The Pirate party”! Icelanders pushed international and national mainstream media to write extended articles on the pirate movement and empowered the voice of a new world that emerges, slowly but steadily, and takes its place in decision making centers.

Big chance for the Pirates in Iceland to form a government

After the elections, no party in Iceland held a majority to form a government. The president gave a mandate to the first party in votes to start searching for a coalition government. But there was no positive outcome, so the “Left Greens”, the second party in votes, received the mandate. PPIS participated in that second round of unproductive talks on the establishment of a 5 parties coalition government with the “Left Greens”.

Those 5 parties hold a majority of 34 (out of 63) seats divided as follows:

Left Green Movement (10)
Pirate Party (10)
Regeneration (7)
Bright Future (4)
Social Democratic Alliance (3)

Then the mandate was given to PP-IS, third party in votes. Birgitta Jonsdottir, MP and party leader, received it on Friday, 2nd of December and PP-IS started a new round of negotiations. Pirates of Iceland held in their hands a great opportunity, the greatest ever given to a Pirate party, to form a government! Despite the initial optimism, Pirates finally failed and returned the mandate but set new heights for the pirate movement.

If all negotiations went well, then PPIS would have achieved something inconceivable! It would have been the first Pirate Party participating in governmental seats, 10 years since the establishment of the Pirate movement and only 4 years after the founding of the party itself!

Birgitta’s meeting with Snowden and Lessig in Moscow, filmed by French director

Taking a secret trip to Moscow, Birgitta Jonsdottir met with Edward Snowden and Lawrence Lessig, lawyer, activist, founder of Creative Commons, for the needs of a documentary film by Flore Vasseur, French journalist and director. The filming took 3 hours and Birgitta said in her interview to grapevine.is “We just wanted to talk about the state of democracy. But there we were—three ordinary citizens who decided to do something…”

Also, “Alternative party” from Denmark made a documentary on the Icelandic pirates. Uffe and Rasmus, 2 members of the party, visited Rejkavik during the elections to find out the agenda behind the success of PPIS! What did they learn from the Pirates? As they say at the end of their documentary: “Reset the system”, “Be the change”, “Give the power to the people”!

Stathis Leivaditis

About Stathis Leivaditis

The English “pirate” is derived from the Greek word “πειρατής” (peiratēs) and this in turn from the verb “πειράομαι” (peiráomai), “I attempt”, which is a derivative of the noun “πείρα” (peîra), “experience”. Coming from the depths of the centuries, the word “pirate” took on another dimension in our days. The ruling classes saw pirates as rebels and hated them. Rebels without a state, they were not submissive to any law, except from the laws they instituted themselves, improvising together. This is the feeling of a Pirate: when something doesn’t work, you have to attempt to bring a new concept. Sometimes it goes beyond a certain point and perhaps exceeds certain limits, because it is an expression of challenge; the challenge to change the system. I’m a member of the Board (and former chairman) of Pirate Party of Greece, also a member of press team of PPGR, former journalist, now a free lancer. I'm in the team of Pirate Times from the start, I joined voluntarily and consciously because I am interested to meet pirates from around the world, to exchange views and spread the pirate spirit.

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