Pirate Party Could End Up Ruling Iceland

They're in the lead a week before election
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2016 5:05 AM CDT
Pirate Party Could End Up Ruling Iceland
Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir.   (AP Photo)

The country that puts misbehaving bank bosses in prison may become the first to be ruled by the Pirate Party. The party—described by the Washington Post as a "collection of anarchists, hackers, libertarians, and Web geeks"—has gained popularity rapidly in Iceland and could emerge as a partner in a coalition government after the country's Oct. 29 election, the Washington Post reports. Recent polls put the Pirates, which won three seats in the last election, in first place among more than a dozen parties, with its 22.6% support higher than that of the ruling center-right Independence Party, the Next Web reports.

Like other Pirate Parties around Europe, the Icelandic version is strongly in favor of freedom of speech and copyright law reform. The Icelandic party, founded four years ago by fomer WikiLeaks activist Birgitta Jonsdottir, also advocated legalizing drugs and offering citizenship to Edward Snowden. Analysts say the Pirates will be helped by public anger over the Panama Papers offshore banking scandal. "The distrust that had long been germinating has now exploded. The Pirates are riding on that wave,” University of Iceland political history professor Ragnheithur Kristjansdottir tells the Post. (More Pirate Party stories.)

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