Iceland's radical Pirate Party top polls as election approaches
The radical Pirate Party which favors legalizing drugs and offering asylum to Edward Snowden looks set to win the most seats in the national election to be held in October.
|In April this year, the prime minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson stepped down after demonstrations against him. The Panama Papers revealed that his family had millions in offshore tax havens. He and his family were accused of hiding millions in the offshore accounts. Iceland's ruling coalition and the opposition agreed to hold early elections probably on October 29. Although Gunnlaugsson no longer owned any offshore investments his wife still did.|
“It’s gradually dawning on us, what’s happening. It’s strange and very exciting. But we are well prepared now. This is about change driven not by fear but by courage and hope. We are popular, not populist.”The prime minister was replaced by the agriculture and fisheries minister Sigur Johanson and elections were promised before the end of the year.
“Then, they were clearly a protest vote against the establishment. Three years later, they’ve distinguished themselves more clearly; it’s not just about protest. Even if they don’t have clear policies in many areas, people are genuinely drawn to their principles of transforming democracy and improving transparency.”
Iceland has a market economy with relatively low taxes compared to other OECD countries. It maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. Iceland ranks high in economic, political and social stability and equality. In 2013, it was ranked as the 13th most-developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index. Iceland runs almost completely on renewable energy. Affected by the ongoing worldwide financial crisis, the nation's entire banking system systemically failed in October 2008, leading to a severe depression, substantial political unrest, the Icesave dispute, and the institution of capital controls. Many bankers were jailed, and the economy has made a significant recovery, in large part due to a surge in tourism.