From Iceland — News in Brief: Early October Edition

News in Brief: Early October Edition

Published October 5, 2017

So let’s get the Election 2017 stuff out of the way, first of all. The latest polls to come in show the right wing in Iceland is splintering apart. There are now five parties—six, if you count the decidedly centrist Bright Future—running on right wing platforms for parliament. The biggest surprise was that the party of former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson is not only polling well, but it’s polling better than the Progressive Party, the party Sigmundur used to chair. The Independence Party is also losing support, while the People’s Party is gaining ground, and both the Reform Party and Bright Future aren’t polling well enough to win a seat. Elections are due to be held October 28, which is like a year from now in political time.

In related news, a new poll shows that the dreams of post-crash Iceland have not been forgotten, as most Icelanders want a new constitution this coming parliamentary term. The drive to draft a new constitution, often erroneously reported as having been “crowdsourced,” was one of the larger aims of the movement that brought down Iceland’s government in 2009, but the draft would end up dying in committee shortly thereafter. Support was greatest amongst leftist voters, but a left wing government would be no guarantee; after all, the constitutional draft died while a leftist government was in power. Who knows, though… maybe this time?

The ongoing saga of neo-Nazi site DailyStormer has come to a close, as the site has now lost its .is domain due to violating terms of service. Specifically, anyone registering a .is site must provide proof of identity and physical location—something site founder Andrew Anglin was not willing to do, out of fear this information would end up in the hands of law enforcement, which it likely would. Good riddance to bad garbage.

Climate change continues to have an impact on Iceland, as it does on the rest of the world. Flooding in east Iceland went on for the better part of a week, as heavy rains pounded the southeast corner of the country, closing roads and endangering livestock. No injuries or deaths were reported, but it has proven an infrastructural nightmare.
It feels silly to even have to write this, but please be careful when trying to take a photograph of Icelandic nature. Recently, a tourist was spotted climbing down the cliffs overlooking Gullfoss in the hopes of snapping that perfect pic. Seriously, don’t do this. Stay inside the demarcated safe areas around our sites of natural wonder. We know what we’re talking about, and we don’t want to deploy rescue squad workers to fish your bloated corpse out of the river.

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