A member of parliament for the Pirate Party has received strong criticism from his colleagues for refusing to address them with the traditional “Honourable” appellation.
By Icelandic parliamentary tradition, MPs are expected to address one another with the titles “Honourable” (“Hæstvirtur” for ministers, and “háttvirtan” for regular MPs). However, RÚV reports that Pirate Party MP Jón Þór Ólafsson does not believe that this title is necessarily earned.
Addressing parliament, Jón Þór told his colleagues, “I want that we show each other respect, as ministers and members of parliament, and I will address all members of parliament, as well as the parliamentary president, as ‘Mister’, ‘Missus’ and even ‘Miss’. We should not automatically give ourselves the ‘Honourable’ title when the nation doesn’t think we’ve earned it.”
Independence Party MP Ragnheiður Ríkharðsdóttir agreed that parliament needs to earn the trust and respect of the public, but that parliament as a whole should be the one to decide whether or not to drop the “Honorable” title, rather than one member of parliament alone. Parliamentary president Einar K. Guðfinsson seconded the motion, encouraging members of parliament to continue using the “Honorable” title.