Arrr...Pirate Party on cusp of winning power in Iceland
THE Pirate Party is on the cusp of winning power in Iceland.
With an election looming in four days time, polling figures from the University of Iceland's Social Science Research Institute have the Pirates winning the largest chunk of the popular vote.
Economic hardship in the island nation, followed by a Panama Papers scandal which saw the country's Prime Minister Sigmundur Davio Gunnluaggsson resign over revelations he had millions of dollars worth of family money stashed offshore, have largely destroyed faith in traditional politics.
And stepping into the void are a number of minor political parties, led by the Pirates who stand for direct democracy enabled by the internet, more transparency in government, a new constitution and asylum for US whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
"It's gradually dawning on us, what's happening," Pirate Party leader Birgitta Jónsdóttir told The Guardian.
"It's strange and very exciting. But we are well prepared now. This is about change driven not by fear but by courage and hope. We are popular, not populist."
Iceland Review reports the latest poll, conducted between October 14-19 shows the Party is set to win 22.6% of the popular vote, should the poll be correct, the more conventional Independence Party would get 21.1%, the Left-Green Movement 18.6% and the Progressive Party 9.1%, the Reform Party 8.8% and Social Democratic Alliance 6.5%.
That result combined with Iceland's system of representative democracy would deliver a far-left leaning coalition government.
The sample size was reportedly 2300 voters.
And an earlier poll also from the Social Science Research Institute had the Pirate Party winning an even greater chuck of vote - indeed plausibly enough to form government in its own right.
In that poll conducted in April the 39% of people said they intended to vote for the Pirate Party.
The Party's website says it was founded on November 24, 2012.
In the 2013 Parliamentary elections three of its members were elected and the Party presently holds seats on Reykjavik City Council.
"The Icelandic Pirate Party's adoption of a policy hinges on the ability to root it firmly in the core policies of the party," the website states.
"It must also receive sufficient support in the Pirate Party's online voting system.
"The online voting system is the primary method through which Pirates settle disputes and reach consensus on policies."