From Iceland — Joke Party's Success Comes from Voter Dissatisfaction

Joke Party’s Success Comes from Voter Dissatisfaction

Published March 29, 2010

As the Grapevine reported, a recent Fréttablaðið poll showed that The Best Party – a joke party created by comedian Jón Gnarr as a satire of Icelandic politics – would win two of Reykajvík city council’s 15 seats if elections were held today. This, says a professor of political science, is because voters are fed up with all the other parties.
Grétar Þór Eyþórsson, who teaches political science at the University of Akureyri, told Vísir that the success of The Best Party is “the voters giving the finger to politicians” as a whole.
The party has made a number of either absurd or very blunt campaign promises, such as the promise to bring squirrels to the park Hljómskálagarðinn, reminiscent of the Independence Party’s promise to build an outdoor skating rink at the end of Austurstræti. As party chairman, Jón Gnarr has also said he hopes that by becoming an elected official, he can recieve a salary that will allow him to live comfortably.
Eyþórsson believes most Icelanders aren’t even thining about city elections, which are due to be held 29 May, as Icesave and parliamentary matters are more dominant in their minds.
The Best Party certainly throws a wrench into the works when it comes to other parties vying for a slice of city council. While support for the Independence Party, Social Democrats and Leftist-Greens remains unchanged (projected to win seven, four and two seats, respectively), the Progressives are not expected to hold onto their one and only seat, nor is Ólafur F. Magnússon (who was previously with the Liberal Party but then left, and is now unaffiliated), and it is still not known of the Liberal Party will run.
Gnarr is pleased with the results so far, telling reporters last week, “I expected this [poll result]. We had as our platform to get four seats. But when the elections are this far off, it’s very pleasant when a new party gets this much support. Also because it’s a self-described joke party. I think a joke campaign has never gotten more than one percent.”

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