Iceland Report #4 : History Made by a Hair’s Breadth
On Saturday 27 April 2013 Pirate history was made and three members of a national Pirate Party were elected to be representatives in their national parliament. Iceland is the first country to have Pirates having a say in the running of their country. It was a nail biting finish as the voting results changed through the night and the Icelandic Pirates swung from initial ecstasy to despair and disbelief and then to consternation as the numbers we being reported differently by the two main news outlets MBL and RÚV. Long after the victory party ended the Pirates left the Reykjavik Cafe with no certain result. It later became known that PPIS had attained 5.1% of the vote and gained the three so called “leveling seats” that are allocated on a national basis at the end of counting according to Torrentfreak. That is now the official result and the Icelandic Pirates have let out a collective sight of relief and some caught some sleep while others partied on or got down to preparing for the next stage,
The campaign was fought with great sacrifices and at great personal risk by the Pirates, some working full time for the Party with no guarantee of payment and with debts mounting. They will have little time to rest as the fledgling party restructures itself to represent the Icelandic people in the Athingi – The Icelandic Parliament.
The three new Pirate MPs are:
Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson (Northern Reykjavik)
Born 22 October 1980 in Reykjavik. He worked in programming and system management for almost fourteen years for various companies and clients. He studies language and religion. Has lived in Finland and Canada. Speaks German, French and classical Arabic.He became a Pirate as governments and corporations have been encroaching on freedom of information. The Internet is the best thing that has come for humanity since the printing press was invented, but now there is a real danger that the opportunities that the Internet offers will be lost.
Jon Thor Olafsson (southern Reykjavik)
He has been Birgitta’s parliamentarian assistant and student of business administration at the University of Iceland. Born 13 March 1977 in Reykjavik. He was the manager of the Citizens Movement since its establishment until the election of 2009. On the board of IMMI the International Modern Media Institute. He is married with 2 children.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir (Southwest)
There is too much in Birgitta’s political biography to fit here and most people are aware of her activism and work in the Icelandic parliament as a representative of the Movement and then the Pirates.
You may not know she is an accomplished poet and painter. She reads voraciously any thing from Donald Duck to complex novels and political treatises. Influenced by the punk scene and the art of Banksy she enjoyed designing and making the campaign buttons just as much as formulating policy and campaign strategy. She does not claim to be a leader or a philosopher but a Pirate and an eccentric one at that. However, she is one of the Pirate Movement’s leading lights and will be influencing the Pirate Movement long into the future.
Featured image: CC BY-SA Pirate Times