Independence Party chairperson Bjarni Benediktsson says he finds the Pirate Party to be “a blank page” and questioned the commitment of one of its founders, MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir.
In an interview with DV, Bjarni targeted Birgitta for criticism by citing her political career over the past eight years. He pointed out that she initially worked for the Leftist-Greens, and then for the Civic Movement, which would later become simply The Movement. Shortly thereafter, he said, she ran for office with the Pirate Party, forgetting to point out that she also helped found the party Dögun.
The relevance of this information, Bjarni said, was that someone who leads the country needs to have “some kind of ballast”, asking of the Pirates, “Do they have any kind of ballast? To me, they seem for the most part to be a blank page.”
He also expressed surprise at seeing how well the Pirate Party has been polling, holding at over 30% for the past few months now.
“I won’t deny [my surprise] and think many people are surprised,” he said. “They have jumped up in support in a very short period of time, without making public any kind of platform.” In fact, the Pirates have introduced policy objectives on numerous subjects, from fishing quota laws to “proactive police investigations” to repealing blasphemy laws, which would eventually come to pass.
At the same time, Bjarni said he could not rule out forming a ruling coalition with the Pirates after next year’s elections, should they get enough votes to be in that position, as he would not be able to “dismiss a party with such a large democratic mandate”.
Bjarni takes much the same tone that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson did earlier this summer, when he cautioned voters not to vote for the Pirates because “it would be difficult to hang onto those values that we possess and have been building on for decades” should they come to power.