Published April 5, 2013
Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into when we set out to make an “Election Guide” this issue. For at least a decade now, the same four political parties have been running for parliament.
Although there have always been some wildcard parties, and there was an influx of them in the 2009 post-crash election, never before have there been this many vying for seats in parliament.
We did our best to keep track as the parties popped up left and right, but we were often confused about how many there were and whether or not we should be taking them all seriously. It didn’t help that one of them, Flokkur heimilanna (“The Household’s Party”), announced itself on April Fools’ Day.
At that point we had already sent a rather lengthy questionnaire to 20 parties and we wanted to believe that any new party was a joke. It turns out, however, that they are no less serious about running than the other 12 or 13 parties that had responded to our questionnaire, each of them with unique ideas on how Iceland should be run.
In the end, we can’t be completely certain that we’ve managed to include all of the parties running in the upcoming elections, but we can be fairly certain that the few missing ones won’t collect enough signatures of support by April 12 to make it onto the ballot come April 27. Heck, at least one of the parties was trying to collect signatures from the makeup artists at our cover shoot.
It really wasn’t until I stood there at that cover shoot, on the day before print, that I started to appreciate the fact that all of these parties were running and what that meant. A wonderful feeling came over me as I watched all of these would be leaders or representatives proudly posing for our cover photo.
If the polls are anything to go by, few will go on to get a seat at the table, but this seemingly obvious fact didn’t prevent them from caring and feeling empowered enough to create a party and make their ideas heard. And even if they don’t go on to gain any seats, their ideas are worth considering as the nation attempts to rebuild after the crash.
Now, dear voter, it’s time for you to do your part. Explore our Election Guide, which will hopefully help you make heads or tails of it all. If you’re not a voter, you should still check it out and enjoy some insight into Iceland’s political climate today.