Outgoing Minister Of Employment Takes Stock Of Recent Elections

Words by

Published May 15, 2013

Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, outgoing Minister of Employment, has caused a local stir by publishing an article in the Financial Times wherein he attempts to account for the upset in the recent Parliamentary elections.
The article, which appeared in the opinion section on the Financial Times website last night and is expected in print form tomorrow, is entitled “Iceland’s election is a signal to the rest of Europe.”
In the article, Steingrímur attempts to account for why Icelandic voters chose to reinstate the right wing parties that led them into the 2008 crisis in spite of the relative success of the outgoing centre-left coalition in stabilizing the economy and lowering unemployment. 
Steingrímur centres the article around what he calls a “fundamental question,” namely whether “any politician can meet the unrealistic expectations of Europe’s voters.” He criticizes the materialistic consumerism and insatiable demand for economic growth which he claims right-wing parties exploit in order to lure voters with extravagant promises about increasing consumer power.   
Steingrímur argues that such promises of increasing consumer power through tax cuts and de-regulation are short-sighted, opportunistic and do not take sustainable growth into account.
He ponders why the left-centre coalition suffered such an outstanding defeat after having managed to lead the country towards economic recovery whilst sparing low-income groups the austerity measures which have been increasingly implemented elsewhere in Europe.  
After considering the claims that the coalition’s defeat was due to a lack of boasting about their success or disunity within the coalition, he again suggests the role of unrealistic voter expectations: “the truth is that we were beaten by the enormity of the task and the importance of public expectations.”
In this way, Steingrímur not only challenges European politicians to weigh short-term profits against long-term stability and sustainability but he also urges European voters to re-evaluate their own expectations.  



News
“The Icelandic People Are My Hope Now” – Afghan Mother & Daughter Still In Peril

“The Icelandic People Are My Hope Now” – Afghan Mother & Daughter Still In Peril

by

A group of Icelanders arrived at the Ministry of the Interior today to hand over a petition of some 3,300

News
Pirates And Conservatives Neck-And-Neck

Pirates And Conservatives Neck-And-Neck

by

The latest poll from Market and Media Research shows the two parties at a statistical tie, and it is still

News
The Cave Tamer

The Cave Tamer

by

Raufarhólshellir, the third largest lava tunnel in Iceland, is easily accessible from Reykjavík: after a 35km drive, it’s simple to

News
Man Dies Fearing His Insurance Company Would Drop Coverage

Man Dies Fearing His Insurance Company Would Drop Coverage

by

A British man who died from injuries sustained from falling from a horse in Iceland did not disclose to medical

News
More Names Approved For Icelandic Lexicon

More Names Approved For Icelandic Lexicon

by

The Naming Committee has approved a new batch of names, one of which came through with eerie timing. Vísir reports

News
EA Sports May Include Iceland In FIFA 18

EA Sports May Include Iceland In FIFA 18

by

Shortly after news broke that EA Sports would not include Iceland in FIFA 17, the company initiated informal talks with

Show Me More!