Iceland’s president Guðni Th. Jóhannesson has announced he has given the Pirate Party ‘captain’, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the mandate to form the country’s next ruling coalition. Informal talks between the Pirate Party, the Social Democrats, the Reform Party, the Left-Greens and Bright Future will commence immediately. Birgitta met with reporters shortly after the announcement. She said she hopes that all parties already involved in informal talks, with the inclusion of the Left-Greens, will lead to a harmonious result.
Pirate Party manifesto
In the meantime, here is the Icelandic Pirate Party’s manifesto for the October 2016 parliamentary elections. The original text can be found here in Icelandic.
The Icelandic Pirate Party wants to …
1. Adopt the New Constitution
Icelandic Pirates believe that adopting the Constitutional Council’s new constitution is a basic precondition for improving Icelandic society.
The new constitution updates Iceland’s obsolete structure of government. It contains new clauses on human rights and increased public involvement in decision-making, and ensures that those in power are held accountable to the public.
Our new constitution was drafted by the Icelandic people to mark a new beginning after the breakdown in trust caused by the economic collapse of 2008. The referendum on October 20th, 2012 confirmed the desire of the Icelandic people to adopt the new constitution. The Icelandic Pirates respect the will of the people and want to answer the nation’s call for a new social contract.
The Icelandic Pirates want to adopt the new constitution because:
- It answers the nation’s call for a new social contract
- It brings natural resources into national ownership
- It protects important civil rights such as the right to the best possible health care
- It empowers the public and thus promotes active democracy
- It ensures that those in authority are held accountable to the public
2. Ensure a Just Distribution of the Wealth Generated by Iceland’s Natural Resources
Icelandic Pirates want the nation to benefit fairly from utilization of Iceland’s natural resources.
The new constitution acknowledges an obvious truth, namely that “Iceland’s natural resources that are not private property shall be the joint and perpetual property of the nation.” The prosperity of future generations depends on the adoption of sensible and sustainable systems that ensure a just distribution of the dividends provided by the country’s resources. We know that humanity is rapidly depleting the earth’s natural resources, with predictably dire consequences for future generations. Responsible and sustainable utilization of natural resources, where nature takes precedence, is a matter of absolute priority.
Icelandic Pirates want to update Iceland’s current laws to ensure that the wealth generated by Iceland’s natural resources is justly distributed. To that end, it is important to reform the system of transferable fishing quotas so that fishing rights are auctioned off through the use of market mechanisms. This ensures that the system is equitable and open to newcomers, and provides the public with a fair rent for use of Iceland’s rich fishing stocks. Icelandic Pirates also want Iceland’s heavy industrial firms to pay a fair share to society in exchange for using the country’s energy resources. This is to be achieved by closing the legal loopholes these firms use to expatriate their profits from Iceland without paying taxes.
Icelandic Pirates want to:
- Enact the stipulations on natural resources in the new constitution
- Ensure that a fair rent is paid for use of all nationally owned resources
- Introduce new laws to prevents thin capitalisation
- Auction off fishing rights
3. Re-establish Free Health Care
We all have a right to the best possible health. Icelandic Pirates want to protect this self-evident human right by making health care and any necessary medicines free and accessible to all, irrespective of residence. We also want to dramatically improve the wages and working conditions of health care workers and put an end to the cutbacks in the health care system. We aim to bring the right to adequate health care into law by adopting the new constitution.
Dental and mental health are an inseparable part of a person’s health, and should not be separate from general health care. Icelandic Pirates want to make dental care and mental health care a part of the public health insurance system.
We have the means to provide outstanding health care for all Icelanders. The restoration of the health care system will be funded by a) charging a fair rent for use of Iceland’s natural resources b) increasing value-generation through innovation and c) changing the tax system to bring about a just distribution of the tax burden.
Icelandic Pirates want to:
- Provide free health care for all Icelanders, irrespective of residence
- Put an end to the chronic underfunding of Iceland’s health care system
- Make mental health care a part of public health insurance
- Make dental care a part of public health insurance
- Provide appropriate treatment for drug users instead of punishing them
4. Increase Public Participation in Decision-Making
Icelandic Pirates trust the Icelandic people to make sensible decisions about their life and their society. We want to adopt the new constitution and thereby ensure the public’s right to propose and veto legislation. The right to propose legislation gives the public direct access to the legislative process, while the right to veto allows the public to prevent parliament from passing laws against popular will.
Icelandic Pirates believe that everyone has the right to participate in decision-making that affects them. We want to protect the individual’s right to self-determination by strengthening civil rights and increasing freedom of choice when it comes to health, employment and lifestyle. We want to ensure a healthy democratic right to self-determination through active public participation and supervision of those in power. Modern information technology provides innovative new ways to increase democratic participation and public influence.
Icelandic Pirates want to:
- Ensure the public’s right to propose and veto legislation by adopting the new constitution
- Increase public participation in common decision-making through active democracy
- Keep the promise to hold a referendum on continued EU membership talks
- Strengthen civil rights through increased individual self-determination
- Increase freedom of employment, e.g. by permitting jig fishing
- Strengthen democratic innovation through digital solutions and information technology
5. Restore Trust and Tackle Corruption
Icelandic Pirates believe that transparency is the basis of responsible administration and informed democratic participation by the public. We want to drastically increase public access to information about government decision-making. We can restore trust in public institutions by making it easier for the public to supervise those in authority and identify corruption.
Icelandic Pirates want to bolster those government institutions responsible for tackling corruption and abuse of power. To name but a few examples, we want to a) strengthen the Competition Authority, in order to protect the interests of consumers, b) strengthen the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, in order to protect the rights of citizens against government institutions, and c) introduce independent oversight of law enforcement, in order to protect civil rights.
Icelandic Pirates believe that increased freedom of information, freedom of expression and freedom of the press is the foundation on which a healthier democracy can be built.
Effective public supervision of government activities requires that citizens be free to express themselves without fear of negative consequences. We want Iceland to lead the way when it comes to legally protecting freedom of expression and freedom of information, as stipulated in the June 16th 2010 parliamentary resolution on the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative. It is also urgently necessary to ensure that the government respects its citizens’ right to privacy, both online and offline. An important step in that direction would be the abolition of data retention laws and laws permitting the government and private companies to gather and sell personal information about individuals.
Icelandic Pirates want to:
- Drastically increase the public’s right to information through increased government transparency
- Open government accounts to the public
- Strengthen institutions responsible for protecting the public from abuse of authority
- Abolish data retention laws and ban the collection and sale of personal information about individuals
- Make Iceland a global pioneer when it comes to protecting freedom of information, freedom of expression and freedom of the press.