The Pirate Party in Iceland continues its shakeup of the local political arena. According to the latest polls the party now has a serious shot at taking part in the next Government coalition, with roughly 20% of all votes one week before the parliamentary elections.The Pirate Party was founded in 2006 by Rick Falkvinge, and has scored some significant victories over the years including a continuing presence in the European Parliament.
Iceland’s Pirates have a great track record already, with three members in the national Parliament. However, more may join in the future as the party has added many new supporters in recent months. The Pirates have been leading the polls for most of the year and are currently neck-and-neck with the Social Democratic Alliance to become the largest party in the country.
This brings the Pirates in an unusual position where they have to start thinking about possible partners to form a coalition Government, for the first time in history.
TorrentFreak spoke with Ásta Helgadóttir, Member of Parliament for the Icelandic Pirate Party, who says that the party is ready to bring the change many citizens are longing for. Despite the Pirate name, copyright issues are not central to their plans. That said, they have spoken out against recent web-blocking efforts.
Iceland’s ISPs have been ordered to block access to ‘infringing’ sites such as The Pirate Bay, which the party sees as a step in the wrong direction. The party fears that these censorship efforts will lead to more stringent measures. Helgadóttir said:
These measures are not a solution and only exacerbate the problem. There needs to be a review of copyright law and how creators are compensated for their work.
Helgadóttir has also been speaking about the censorship of internet porn. She commented in an interview with grapevine.is :
In 2013 the Pirate Party came along. The freedom of information aspect attracted me–I’m very much against censorship.
One idea being mooted at the time was the blocking of porn sites in Iceland, which set alarm bells ringing for Ãsta. According to Icelandic law, pornography is illegal. It’s a law from the 19th century, and it hasn’t been enforced for fifteen years now. Then the idea of building a pornography shield around Iceland came up. And I thought, No, you can’t do that! It’s censorship! And they were like, No, it’s not censorship, we’re thinking about the children!'”
The Pirate Party is trying to infiltrate the system and change these ‘heritage laws, because when you read a law, you have to understand the root of that law–when was it written, what was the context, and the culture. And now we’re in the 21st century, with the internet, which changes everything.
The parliamentary elections will take place next week, October 29.