An unprecedented number of political parties plan on running in the upcoming parliamentary elections. But who should we trust to lead Icelanders into prosperity and create a fair, just society for all? In an attempt to figure it out, we went and made a massive election guide for y’all to pore over. A large part of that involved sending each political party a set of 20 questions. Their answers were way too long to print in full, but you can see them here online.
We sent them these questions:
1. Briefly describe your party’s general agenda in one sentence.
2. Tell us about your party. What’s it all about? Does it have a history? Are you proud of that history?
3. Is there a foreign sister party that you identify with?
4. What do you consider the most important issue facing Iceland today? How about the most important issue to consider in this election?
5. What do you admire about the current coalition government and what it accomplished in the last four years? What do you dislike? What will you do better?
6. Was the financial crisis in 2008 and the problems Iceland now faces in some way caused by government policy and action or the lack thereof? Is your party in some way responsible for this? Why or why not?
7. Specifically, how do you plan to bring Iceland back to economic prosperity?
8. Do you want to weaken, strengthen or keep unchanged the regulation of the financial industry and other business activity in Iceland?
9. Do you plan to increase or decrease the total tax burden in Iceland?
10. Do you believe in the Icelandic króna? Or will you work to adopt an alternative currency? If so, which one?
11. Do you support the newly passed law removing an expiration date from Iceland’s capital controls? Will your party work to lift these controls? Does it have a timeframe in mind?
12. Do you believe that the collapse was more than an economic one? If so, what else failed in 2008 and does it still need fixing?
13. How can the government best serve Icelandic homes?
14. What is your stance on Iceland’s application to the European Union? Do you ultimately think Icelanders’ interests would be best served by being part of this coalition?
15. What is your stance on the new constitution that was called for in the wake of Iceland’s financial crisis? Are you for or against pushing the current draft through parliament? Why or why not?
16. Will your party do something to protect the land and its resources? Is a more stringent regulative framework needed to ensure conservation of the environment?
17. Is gender inequality an issue in Iceland? If so, what does your plan to do to ensure equality?
18. Where do you stand on immigration issues?
19. Does your party harbour any ideas about the role of religion in governance?
20. Are there any parties that your party will not work with in a coalition government? Why?
Here are their answers:
– Alþýðufylkingin (“The People’s Front of Iceland”)
– Björt Framtíð (“Bright Future”)
– Dögun (“Dawn”)
– Flokkur Heimilanna (“The Household’s Party”)
– Hægri Grænir, Flokkur Fólksins (“The Right Green People’s Party”)
– Húmanistaflokkurinn (“The Humanist Party”)
– Vinstrihreyfingin–Grænt Framboð (“The Left-Green Movement”)
– Lýðræðisvaktin (“The Iceland Democratic Party”)
– Framsóknarflokkurinn (“The Progressive Party”)
– Samfylkingin (“The Social Democratic Alliance”)
– Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (“The Independence Party”)
– Píratapartýið (“The Pirate Party”)
If you’re just interested in the highlights, look at our issue.
You are an Icelandic citizen, or a Danish national who lived in Iceland between March 6, 1936 and ‘46 (Why? Because it says so in law nr. 85/1946).
You are 18-years-old by Election Day.
You are a legally registered resident listed in the National Registry at least three weeks prior to Election Day. If you’re not registered, you can take care of that through the National Registry’s website.
Okay, bingo. Now what?
Go to www.island.is/um-island-is/kjorskra/.
Type in your kennitala (ID number) and note your voting location, which is determined by your legal address.
Show up and do it.
Are you an absentee voter?
You can still vote, you know. If you are absentee voting from outside of Iceland, you will need to hunt down the nearest Icelandic embassy or consulate to cast your vote. If you are an absentee voting in Iceland however (say, if you plan on undergoing surgery or being at sea or something during elections proper), you need to pay a visit to your closest Sýslumaður office. Detailed instructions on this and any other aspect of the voting process may be found at www.kosning.is.
If you’re not an Icelandic citizen, become one. If you are an Icelandic citizen, stay one. Also, make sure you’re “in possession of full civil rights”—or in plain language: you haven’t been convicted of a felony. If you meet these requirements, you’re eligible to take part in the parliamentary election and thus ready for the next step. Oh wait, if you’re a Supreme Court judge your game is over.
If you are a member of a political party, skip to step number three. Now let’s assume you’re not interested in any of the existing political parties. You’re going to have to make one. Create a nice and catchy name, draft a nifty manifesto and apply with the Ministry of Interior for a party-letter. Hopefully you won’t get a sucky letter like M.
Now that you have a party, you need to round up some candidates. There are six constituencies in Iceland and for each constituency you plan on campaigning in, you need to turn in a list with twice as many candidates as there are parliament seats. No more, no less. The parliamentary seats range from 8–13, and every candidate has to have a legal residency in the relevant constituency. So it can be tricky. Hopefully you have a lot of friends.
You thought that was hard? It’s time to get supporters. You need supporters in every constituency that you’re campaigning in, and their number has to be at least equal to 30 times the number of parliamentary seats and at most 40 times that number. So, to get enough supporters for the two constituencies in Reykjavík alone, you need 660 supporters. As soon as you have enough support, turn in your list to the Ministry of the Interior at least 15 days before the election. If you’re planning to create a party this time, you’ve got until April 12.
This is the last step, and some would say the most important one: exploit the media, make ridiculous campaign pledges, and lobby as hard as you can. If you win the hearts of the masses, meaning you get at least 5% of the vote, you can finally sit your ass down in that parliamentary seat come fall.
Just the basic facts…
1 COUNTRY. Djók.
63 Parliamentary Seats
15 possible electoral parties (We think!)
Number of professed supporters in Reykjavík if all parties get
sufficient support: 9,900, 8.4% of the population
Population in Reykjavík: 118,326
Number of professed supporters in Iceland if all parties get sufficient
support in all constituencies: 28,350, 8.9 % of the population
Population in Iceland: 320,160
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