From Iceland — Why Should I Vote For Your Party?

Why Should I Vote For Your Party?

Published May 4, 2007

Why Should I Vote For Your Party?

Guðmundur Steingrímsson
The Social Democratic Alliance

The Social Democratic Alliance is the only political party in Iceland with a policy that is on the one hand aimed at freedom in trading and modern trade practices and on the other hand offers a clear policy regarding welfare issues. That is no coincidence. This is the model our associating parties in the other Nordic countries have always emphasised.
For example, Iceland is faced with countless waiting lists in the public health care system, growing inequality, a regressive education system and poorly maintained welfare benefit system. These examples bare witness to how necessary it is to let the Social Democratic Alliance participate in the government. The Social Democratic Alliance is a welfare and equality party. Our business with the Icelandic nation is therefore obvious. What we can learn from the ruling coalition between the Independence Party and the Progressive Party for the past 12 years is this: The parties who pretend to be welfare and equality parties are not when it comes to practicing what they preach.
It is important that voters figure out this deception. And it is also important that voters don’t let established and partly understandable sarcasm mixed with hopelessness control their vote. The government’s wrongdoings and betrayed promises might let one think that nothing matters in politics and therefore it’s alright to vote for whomever. But that couldn’t be more wrong. The Social Democratic Alliance has never been in government. Our task will be this: To show the country’s inhabitants that we are a different kind of a party. We mean what we say.

Jakob Frímann Magnússon
The Progressive Party

The Iceland Green Movement – Islandshreyfingin – is the only realistic political alternative to the Socialist Green Party VG. Provided, that is, you fancy the unlikely duet of Mother Nature and Your Wallet. We are not ashamed to embrace market economy solutions when it comes to funding our welfare system. We suggest lowering our corporate tax to 12% in three steps, which would make us the most competitive in Europe by 2011, ½% below Ireland’s legendary but fully legitimate tax environment, which has attracted a lot of foreign companies and investment. Our plan is not only to benefit Icelandic companies but to attract at least 6 new companies of a medium global size before 2011.
To systematically ruin the valuable image of Green Iceland seems highly unwise. To sink valuable untouched highlands on the altar of Soviet-style heavy industry, puts a bold question mark over the business acumen of our current government. Not only is the price of the electricity in question so low that it has to be kept a tight secret, but no price tag whatsoever has been put on the land that was sacrificed in the process.
How about putting at least a temporary stop to the frantic empowerment of aluminium smelters and perhaps, ad interim, empowering green houses and the green values instead? It seems to make a whole lot more sense for our country, our people, our economy, our image, our current & future generations. Hence we confidently claim that green business is good business. If you agree with us, vote X – I on 12 May 2007!

Katrín Jakobsdóttir
The Left-Green Movement

The Left-Greens will emphasise three issues in this election. First, the environment. It has never been more important to vote on environmental issues than now. The current government has placed great importance on building aluminium smelters and giant hydro-power plants, resulting in damage to the environment. Iceland will soon match the US in CO2 emissions per capita if current proposals for continued aluminium smelting come through, that is, 20 tons per person each year. Let’s change the direction. Let’s develop an environmental protection plan based on ideas for energy efficiency and create varied employment opportunities around the country.
Secondly, welfare and equality. The current government has greatly increased collection in the welfare system. At the same time, inequality has grown and the gap between rich and poor has increased. The state’s tax income should maintain the welfare system and with the current status of the treasury this should be easy. Priorities need to be changed. Let’s strengthen the welfare system; it is the foundation of a strong equal society.
Thirdly, gender equality. There is a 16% unexplained wage difference between the sexes, despite laws against discrimination based on gender. This is unacceptable in the 21st century. Men and women should have equal opportunity and sadly the current government has done nothing to change this situation. Let’s abolish wage secrecy and let the laws be implemented.
The Independence Party has been in power for 16 years and there is a real danger of a right-wing government for 4 more years. Now we need to change priorities in politics. A vote for the Left-Greens is the clearest way to demand change.

Sæunn Stefánsdóttir
The Progressive Party

The Progressive Party is a social liberal party, which fights for progress in society on the basis of restrained reform. The Progressive Party will continue to advocate the development of a strong economy with improved working conditions and competitiveness. That policy has generated more capital goods, job opportunities and improved living conditions than has ever been known in the country. At the same time we’ve seen the state treasury undergo considerable change, the state’s debts are insignificant and the economy is stronger then ever before in the republic’s history.
The Progressive Party also fights for equality and equal opportunities. We fight for human rights and respect for the individual and the family. We reject discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, residency or political opinions. We will always respect freedom of speech, expression and religion. Inequality is a human rights’ violation which wastes human resources.

Magnús Þór Hafsteinsson
The Liberal Party

The Liberal Party representative chose not to comment on this question.

Ármann Kr. Ólafsson
The Independence Party

The Independence Party representative chose not to comment on this question.

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