Iceland’s Pirate Party becomes biggest political player

Local polls show Pirate Party domination over Iceland’s politics

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Updated Jul 28, 2015

A new poll conducted in Iceland showed that the Pirate Party has become the most popular party among its citizens.

According to the poll, the latest opinion showed that the support for the Pirate Party increased from 12.8 percent to 23.9 percent in a one-month period.

The party, which seeks the freedom of internet and lighter copyright laws, would gain 16 seats in the Icelandic parliament, otherwise known as the Althingi, if an election is held in Iceland today, the poll shows.

Birgitta Jonsdottir, the leader of Iceland’s Pirate Party, said the reason of Icelanders’ trust was unknown to them.

“We are all just as surprised, thankful and take this as a sign of mistrust towards conventional politics” she said.

The Pirate Party’s member for Parliament Helgi Hrafn Gunnarson also commented about the poll’s result.

“People are starting to realize that the whole system is corrupt, not just a few politicians. They don’t trust it at all. I think they appreciate it when someone points this out” he said.

In 2013, the Pirate Party in Iceland was not only the first anti-copyright party in the world to participate in parliamentary elections, but also became the first to win three seats in the parliament.

A computer programmer and a WikiLeaks volunteer took their places as representatives in the Icelandic parliament. The three representatives used their positions for fighting against the copyright laws of the European Union.

After the Iceland experience, the UK branch of the Pirate Party also joined the British general election in 2010, and received received 1,348 votes, which was about the 0.34 percent of the total votes.

In the UK, they supported privacy and less surveillance from governments. The Party also participated in the by-elections in Manchester Central in 2012 and received 5.2 percent of the votes.

The Pirate Party in Iceland and the UK are branches of an international political organisation, which is active in 60 countries.

Rickard Falkvinge, a Swedish IT entrepreneur founded the first Pirate Party in 2006 in Sweden when he took help from the members of the torrent website The Pirate Bay.

People from other countries who supported the Party’s cause formed a network and established the Pirate Party in their own countries.

The Pirate Party in Sweden sent two members to the European Parliament, and in 2014 its members in the EP reduced to one.

The parties in other countries also won a number of municipal and provincial offices in elections.

TRTWorld and agencies