From Iceland — There’s an election happening!?

There’s an election happening!?

Published June 1, 2024

There’s an election happening!?
Photo by
Art Bicnick/The Reykjavík Grapevine

Charlie is here to help you cast your ballot right

You’ve been keeping to yourself; haven’t really gone out much. You haven’t been following the news either. Sure, you’ve spotted the flyers everywhere, but you pay them no mind. People seem to be huddled in heated conversation and taking sides in arguments you aren’t familiar with. Your aunt just asked you who you’re voting for and it finally hits you: Oh my God, there’s an election. AND IT’S TOMORROW!

Hey everyone, Charlie here, you may not have noticed, but the presidential election is tomorrow (assuming you’re reading this on May 31 like a true Grapevine fan). Personally, I was expecting USA-style parades, floats, meetings or at least demonstrations, but it’s been real quiet. Who’s even running? Well, as a foreigner who knows nothing about Icelandic politics and who can’t vote (on account of the crimes), I believe I am the perfect person to tell you all about the election. Get ready for a foreigner’s hot take.

But first, what is this election even for? Icelanders are choosing a president, which is the person who gets to sit on the Law Rock at the All Thing — I think… Honestly, I’m not 100% on that. I am sure the rock does something, or at least it’s a pretty rock. But the Icelanders are voting on whether or not the candidate is going to sit on the rock or get crushed under it. They also have a prime minister, who probably has their own different and entirely unrelated rock.

So who is running for rock sitter? I don’t know all of them, but here are the ones I’ve heard of:

  • Theres Arnar Þór Jónsson, he went independent from the Independence Party and is now independently running for president.
  • We got Ásdís Rán Gunnarsdóttir, who is a model and influencer. Don’t forget to like and subscribe.
  • Ástþór Magnússon is running and I have no idea what this man’s platform is but I love every single fucking insane Facebook advertisement I get from him. Like eating a bunch of missiles, AI singing, and mad eyes. No idea what any of it is but I’m here for the ride.
  • Baldur Þórhallsson is bald but his husband is balder, but not Baldur; he’s Felix. That’s genuinely all I know about him.
  • There are the two Hallas. One is Halla Prime and the other is an escaped clone, but we cant tell which is which so we’re letting them both run for president.
  • Jón Gnarr is a comedian. I don’t speak Icelandic, but his jokes look pretty funny.
  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir is the former prime minister who abdicated her throne and left it to Bjarni Ben. Fun Fact: Bjarni has been the winner of the “Human Shrek from Shrek 2 lookalike” contest seven years in a row.

There are a few more, but I don’t really have anything remotely funny to say about them.

There’s also a huge list of people who didn’t make it to the final ballot but it would be a crime not to mention them. The glacier Snæfellsjökull was genuinely running but dropped out, probably due to climate change. Andri Snær Magnason (who I personally despise because they made me read his books for class) was running, but that was in 2016. And last but not least, me. Yes it’s true, me and 11 other people accidentally signed up to run for president, apparently it’s not that hard (this is not a joke).

If you’ve read this far, you know everything you need to know about the state of modern Icelandic politics, so go vote. It is your civic duty. And if you take anything I’ve said to heart, you will end up under the Law Rock next.

Want more of Charlie Winters’ musings in your life? Read more here.

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