Hi, we are candidates of the Icelandic Pirate party and we have an election coming up on the 29th of October. These are exciting times in Icelandic politics because we are dealing with a post recession economy and the aftermath of the Panama papers leak where the Prime minister had to resign due to his connection with offshore accounts.

The Icelandic Pirate party got 5% in the last congressional election and are currently polling as the largest party at just over 20%. The amazing thing about that is not only that the Pirate party is the largest political party (by a slim margin) but also that the Independence party which has historically been the largest party by far is only polling at around 20%. The political landscape in Iceland has rarely been as exciting and the possibility for change is real.

We have MPs Birgitta Jónsdóttir and Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir and candidate Smári McCarthy here to answer your questions.

Proof: https://twitter.com/PiratePartyIS/status/789495086170140673

UPDATE: Thanks for all the questions so far! We're signing out for the evening, but we'll monitor the thread tomorrow at least and respond to any new questions. There are a few questions that haven't been responded to yet ─ don't worry, we'll get to them! Thanks again, and more fun soon! - Smári, Ásta and Birgitta.

Comments: 1271 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

opalextra1413 karma

Many say that you score so high in the polls because of young people say that they will vote you because it seems "cool". Then the majority of young voters won't show up for the election day. Any thoughts about that?

PiratePartyIceland1388 karma

Ásta: Maybe. But we actually have good support in all age groups according to polls. Just that we are polling with around 40% support in the youngest age group, 18-29 years old. And it is true that it's a generation that's unlikely to go and vote. And I think that's concerning that young people are not showing up on election day.

Nokterian790 karma

Hi fellow pirates!

My name is Martin van Vuuren from the netherlands Candidate House of Representatives for Pirate Party Netherlands electoral list number 34.

How is it going over there? Are you all excited for being the biggest pirate party to date? I am excited to see how it unfolds that this party knows how to change the future for the best. I will be following the election through social media but i do wish you all the best since we are one big party worldwide.


Martin van Vuuren

PiratePartyIceland453 karma

Ásta: Hi Martin! Ancilla will be here on Friday I think! It'll be hell of a party ;) Everything is going very well - unbelievably. Much work, talking to all the people, and handing out too many brochures. I think some of the Swedish volunteers will try to stream the election night party so you can watch it unfold live!

Afsprengi_Afla355 karma

What do you think can be done about the rent market in Iceland?

There's also the problem of what to me looks like an economy built on sand. Two main sources of revenue: Tourism and fishing.

Both of them seem unsustainable to me. Fish populations can't be taken for granted, especially with climate change and some populations collapsing in the Atlantic and Pacific.

Even if tourism contributes to an abstract kind of economic 'growth' and profit, i'm not sure if it benefits the average icelander.

As a matter of fact i'm worried that the rent market is catering to rich tourists. Do you think society has to run on money?

PiratePartyIceland412 karma

Ásta: The Rental market in Iceland sucks. That's just how it is. We need a more formalized rental market, more long term rental agreements and we should try to make it affordable to rent. I am renting myself and you have to be an MP now days to afford rent! The rent is just absurd.

I agree with you on the industries, fish and tourism. And your question - do you think society has to run on money? No. Not necessarily. But we have to figure out how to measure worth somehow. Economics need to get away from religious beliefs of growth and profit and actually do some real math, not just fancy formulas to confuse politicians. The topic you're raising is the core problem of the future - and that's what we are trying to figure out. Hence, universal basic income ideas etc.

kimurantti77 karma

Can you explain how and why the rental market sucks i.e. what are the causes?

PiratePartyIceland139 karma

Ásta: Well, partly because of the price increase of estates in the past three years following the government plan called the Correction, where people who had debt during the crisis got some correction of their debts. Also, because of index linked loans, which make the prices spin upwards. Also, because of the tourist industry, but there's lots of demand for apartments down town, but not many have been built in recently. Also, the króna, and the cost of building new apartments, etc. Many different factors playing together, and Iceland just becoming more and more expensive.

Bounty1Berry290 karma

I feel a little concerned that, in all this discussion, nobody's mentioning the original anti-intellectual-property stance that was sort of the core of the Pirate philosophy.

I've often heard that many of the awkward parts of intellectual property law are locked in via treaty. In the US, for example, we can't go back to "registration required" copyright, or a 14-year term, for example, without breaking treaties.

How can you handle that issue in a nation like Iceland, that can't just say "we're the biggest/richest/strongest, screw your treaty?"

Also, if you're Icelandic and Pirates, did anyone suggest branding as Vikings? My apologies for the horrible stereotype joke.

PiratePartyIceland302 karma

Ásta: On the Viking, that came up. On the IP law, it's complicated. We are working with Julia Reda Member of European Parliament on the IP issue. But the problem is that we are bound by treaties and respecting those treaties is actually necessary to be part of stuff like, the UN and stuff. No country is an island in a globalized world, not even Iceland which is really an Island. The problem is that IP law is so twisted and that's the reason why we were formed in the first place, to fix it. But as many other IP specialists (Lawrence Lessig) we are moving towards tackling corruption and digital rights, because this is all intertwined. Copyright reform was just the starting point, but from there we have grown and it's awesome!

KontraMantra211 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA. I have three questions:

  1. How serious are you about testing/implementing basic income in Iceland?

  2. And about the work week reduction?

  3. Any thoughts on the sovereign money initiative currently being pushed in Iceland? This is potentially a major gamechanger, but I didn't manage to find any of the Pirates' comments on it.

I wish you the best of luck in the elections!

PiratePartyIceland174 karma

Ásta: 1. we should look into it. If it seems like a feasible thing to do, then why not give it a chance? 2. Quite serious. Free time is awesome. And improves work quality. 3. I have my doubts about the sovereign money initiative. But that's my personal opinion!

Snojo140 karma

Hi there! As a citizen of Iceland in my twenties I have a few questions for you. I'd like to start by stating that I like most of what you are doing and what you have stood for so far. I will be voting for you in the coming election, unless something huge happens to sway my opinion.

Now. You guys have a huge following with the young people in Iceland. I'm wondering what you are thinking about doing for us. Life for students has, I think, never been harder than it is right now. The student loan situation is horrible and the Renting Market is in the gutter.

Do you guys have any plans to fix this? What are your thoughts on the renters market and what can be done to make things easier? Is the only option for students in Iceland to flee the country, just to be able to study what they want?

I would love a bit of insight :)

PiratePartyIceland178 karma

Ásta: Hi Snojo and thanks for your questions! I agree with you that life for the young has become worse, or at least, it hasn't gotten any better compare to other generations. I was a poor student very recently so I am familiar with the situation. It is necessary to fix some of the problems that we know of in the student loan system, and make part of it into a grant. Also - monthly payments of student loans would make students so much more aware on how much they're spending. AND that income roof that's put on students is absurdly low, it's so easy to just raise that. And just fix the whole attitude in this LÍN institution. I could go on and on and on on that.

We need more rental apartments, and we need the airbnb apartments that are basically just run as a hotel, we need those apartments back on the long term renting market. It's probably around 1000-2000 apartments that are on the airbnb market and noone keeps a home there. Also, we need relax a bit on the building regulations. Not everyone needs to have a car, thus, having a car cellar in every new building should not be a requirement.

Currently, in my opinion, the best bet is to leave Iceland. The only reason I'm in Iceland is because of this amazing opportunity that the Pirate Party has created. We have a chance of fixing so many things that are wrong and make Iceland into the country we want it to be, that I believe we can turn it into. There is hope - the grass is not always greener on the other side - but I seriously feel you and have been there myself!

Serasul71 karma

What are your points of universal basic income and what would be needed to make it fair ?

PiratePartyIceland105 karma

Smári: We see basic income as an interesting prospect to look towards long term, and have proposed a government working group to investigate which options there are for implementation and adoption. Short term, it's difficult to implement, simply because it costs so much, but there are some possibilities for moving in that direction alongside simplifications to the welfare system that would guarantee more people better coverage and fewer people falling between the cracks.

AlmightyWibble64 karma

Do you have any tips for people interested in furthering pirate politics in other countries where the local PP isn't doing so well?

PiratePartyIceland73 karma

Ásta: Engage with new parties, engage with your Pirate Party, try to make them more successful and realize that politics is a lot of work. And it's very much about communication. Communication is difficult but essential in building new sustainable parties or organizations. There are other ways to engage with digital rights issues, European Digital Rights, https://edri.org/, Access Now https://www.accessnow.org/, Electronic frontier foundation, eff.org or other digital and human rights organizations that are protecting your digital rights on daily basis both in the US and in the EU.

MaesterMagoo64 karma

Have you considered pirating Donald Trump's words and ideas? I hear they are the best words.

PiratePartyIceland216 karma

Ásta: I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?

Findthepin163 karma

What is your position on climate change?

PiratePartyIceland168 karma

Smári: We'd like to stop it from happening. A stable climate is even more important than a stable economy! In short, we'd like to fulfil our obligations under the Paris convention and then go even further than that. According to loftslag.is, an Icelandic website about climate change, the Pirate Party has the best environmental policy of all parties at the moment.

Knight12ify54 karma

Yeah, so if you pass a law, it's got to be called the Buccaneer Bill right?

PiratePartyIceland48 karma

Ásta: Lol. Yes.

President_Drumpf48 karma

What are your personal positions on the Icelandic Krona? Should it be swapped in near-future for a steadier currency (e.g. USD or Euro), should it be pegged to another currency or should we continue to use it?

PiratePartyIceland73 karma

Ásta: My personal opinion is that it's not a sustainable future currency as is, that is, we would have to have capital controls in order to keep the króna working as it has the past few years. The króna has always been the black sheep of iceland, yes it helped with recovering from the crisis but it is really expensive to keep. The Króna is the main reason why we have index linked loans with high interest rates and unforeseeable payments, and it's really expensive for the normla Icelander. I don't have much faith in Krónan, but I am willing to work with it since we are a strange country. I think pegging it would be an interesting option, or something similar.

Aesthetically I find the Icelandic króna kinda hillarious. It has fish on it. FISH. That's ridiculous, but quiet ironic as well. The fishing industry is the 'gold' of Iceland, the main export and money making machine. So that's something.

TheJackFroster45 karma

What does your party have to do with pirates?

PiratePartyIceland129 karma

Ásta: Long story short: Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Sweden there was a bureau, the Anti-Pirate Bureau that was supposed to make sure noone was copying on the World Wide Web and the Internet. Because of ironic seriousness, some people started the Pirate Bureau and from there, someone had the splendid idea to start the Pirate Party. So yes, we have something to do with Pirates, in a digital sense of the word. But since then we have evolved into being a pro-democracy, reformist movement that supports civil and digital rights in any form.

opalextra32 karma

Do you think you get negative light because of the name? Because it feels like the older generation see it like Illegal Download = Pirate Party

PiratePartyIceland74 karma

Ásta: Well, words only have the meaning we give to them. It hasn't been a problem so far.

PiratePartyIceland20 karma

Smári: Not much. But it's a fun name! The history is quite good too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Party

Anonymous3741 karma

I have a chunk of pork in my mouth and I'm not planning on chewing it or swallowing it. Do you have any idea if it's possible for my saliva to dissolve the chunk and, if it is possible, can you say how long it will take for my saliva to dissolve the piece of pork?

PiratePartyIceland43 karma

Smári: It is very hard to say. There are various important factors. Is it smoked or cured, cooked, or what?

Anonymous3715 karma

That is an excellent question, and one which none of the people I have put this particular question to have bothered to ask. I suppose, for the sake of this question, we should assume that the chunk of pork is uncooked but nonetheless free of parasites.

I am from the United States of America, and this is a question that is traditionally asked of our leaders at the highest levels. I would not assume that the same is necessarily true of Icelandic politicians, but I think that it is at least possible that the voters in your country would be interested in hearing your response as well.

PiratePartyIceland20 karma

Uncooked, hm. I simply do not know. But as a Pirate, and having an endless thirst for knowledge, I suggest that we conduct some scientific research into this and get to the bottom of it.

In Iceland, the questions traditionally asked of politicians are, "would you like beer to be sold in grocery stores?" and "what do you think about the airport in Reykjavík?"

themilkmaid9927 karma

Will whaling still continue to be legal if you win ?

PiratePartyIceland49 karma

Smári: To be honest, we don't have a policy on it either way. Personally, I'm definitely in favour of protecting ecosystems and the species in it. I'd happily get behind a whaling ban if the data suggested that it'd help the ecosystem, but I've seen data that suggests that the whale population might be threatening other populations in the sea... so I'm totally torn. Ultimately we need to do whatever is best for the environment. In the meantime, I do like a good minke steak, even if I wouldn't be too sad to not be able to have it again.

vocaboulously25 karma

Having watched CPG Grey's videos on the pros(?) and cons of commonly used voting systems I am very interested in what your views are on the current voting system in Iceland, and more generally the model it is based on. Also, your views on voting single-person instead of parties! (persónukjör? veit ekki alveg enska orðið)

I personally think it's unrealistic to have a single person vote but I hear people mention it as a solution to the current system.

PiratePartyIceland47 karma

Smári here! There are both pros and cons in the current system, which is very similar to the Swedish and Norwegian systems: d'Hondt's method used to allocate within each constituency, and then a biproportional allocation used to allocate adjustment seats on a national level. The biggest single problem is that d'Hondt's method is less proportionate than, say, the Sainte-Lague method (well, a variant thereof) used in the other Nordic countries. If we could switch to Sainte-Lague, it would be a massive improvement.

By the way, I've written some software that simulates some of these systems, here: https://github.com/smari/voting

That said, there are some bigger things that can and should be done, and one of them is being able to select candidates directly rather than voting for a party list. There are a lot of different ways of doing this, from the (quite odd) Australian method of voting "above the line" (party) or "below the line" (people), to the method used in Finland, which allows for ranking within a party list. I honestly don't favour any specific method above others for use in Iceland (I have a number of ideas though). As long as we can even out the value of the votes between constituencies and increase the ability of people to choose their representatives more directly than they currently can, it's an improvement.

rossshepherd724 karma

Will your party work to grant asylum to Edward Snowden?

PiratePartyIceland49 karma

Ásta: The first bill we put forward in 2013 was on granting Snowden asylum: http://www.althingi.is/altext/142/s/0078.html But he technically needs to apply for it first though. So, it's up to him.

PiratePartyIceland19 karma

Smári: We had a proposal about that in the past and worked towards it. Realistically there's an open question at the moment of whether he himself wants asylum here ─ if he does, then I for one would be happy to work towards it. There are other questions though, about the geopolitical implications. Would the US, for instance, be willing to play nice towards Iceland (as a small country and a NATO member) and not try any shady stuff (see also "extraordinary rendition"), seeing instead the benefits of him being in neutral ground rather than in Russia? I'd hope so. At any rate, we'd look into it if we got an indication.

Chemlab18723 karma

Does CCP makers of Eve Online play any part in Icelandic politics?

PiratePartyIceland71 karma

Smári: Nope. They are fairly busy running a galaxy, and have no time for our pithy local affairs. :-)

Nimelrian21 karma

Did you take a look at Pirate Parties in other countries and learn from their achievements/mistakes?

The German PP was quite popular some years ago but lost a lot in popularity due to internal conflicts and not having answers for any political questions outside the IT sector.

PiratePartyIceland21 karma

Birgitta: Yes we did, we have worked quite a lot with, for example, the Pirate MEPs and Pirates from all over Europe. We have also worked with other political movements from around the world who have been inspiring the general public to participate in co-creating their societies. We like to learn from others, both mistakes and successes. Remixing good policies is critical at these times of quickening.

cedar_reader18 karma

On a lighter note, what are you going to do for the puffins? The world needs to know your stance.

PiratePartyIceland34 karma

Ásta: I bet Smári wants to eat all the puffins since he was brought up in Vestmannaeyjar. I just want to cuddle them and make sure they are happy.

cedar_reader20 karma

I took a picture of these puffins, and they say thank you.

PiratePartyIceland28 karma

Smári: I don't want to eat all the puffins. Just a few. Sustainability in puffin hunting is important too!

geiri717 karma

does the pirateparty have any policy regarding taking harder action against parents that alienate their children from one parent ?

PiratePartyIceland23 karma

Birgitta: We don't have a policy on this issue yet, it is however clearly not in the interest of the child if either parent or their families are alienated from them. We as parliamentarians have always supported all reforms in this regard. The current framework around these violations against the rights of children is too weak and needs to be amended asap.

iceviking15 karma

I would like an answer from each candida on what a perfect Utopia looks like in you're eyes and do you feel it will ever be possible for humans to get to that utopia ?

Also Cats vs Dogs ?

PiratePartyIceland38 karma

Birgitta: One person's Utopia could be another person's hell or at least that is the conclusion I reached after reading the The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. My personal utopia could only become real if I could dream it up with others. :) But I guess the poem Imagine is a good start.

Neither cats or dogs: I love wombats.

PiratePartyIceland36 karma


I think a democratic society is a utopia in itself. And we're living it. It's just difficult, but not impossible.

I'm a dog person. Dogs all the way. DOGS. <3 <3 <3 <3

always_wear_pyjamas16 karma

So, since you're a dog person, it obviously means you intend to force everyone in Iceland to have dogs, and outlaw cats, right?

That's what the personal opinions of politicians automatically translate to, right?

PiratePartyIceland33 karma

Ásta: Yes. You're very much understanding me and the nature of the politics I practice. I love dogs, thus, everyone must have dogs. /sarcasm.

jkhughes14 karma

Heyo! I'm an anthropologist and filmmaker in Iceland and have talked with Ásta about this before (sup Ásta) but would love to know what inspired each of you to join the Pirate Party and what you want to see for the future of Iceland. Also, based on my interviews with Icelanders all over the country the last year the consensus is that the next economic crisis is around the corner (folks say to count the construction cranes in the sky) - Do you think the next crisis in inevitable and what will the Pirates do to address the problem at the root? (I'm giving a paper on the Panama Papers, Pirates and Utopic narratives in Iceland on Friday at the University of Iceland so this is for SCIENCE!)

PiratePartyIceland13 karma

Ásta: Sup Jen! Wanna hang out tonight? What inspired me to join the Pirate Party and actively do politics is after my stay in Iran in 2011. Iran being an authoritarian theocracy made me realize how privileged I am. Participating in a democratic society is not a right, it is a privilege and being a young woman, being able to participate in my democratic society and influence it.

On the construction cranes, the difference between this boom is that it is actually better financed than the previous construction crane invasion in Reykjavík. So hopefully this will not go bad. I believe another global crisis is inevitable, but I don't think it's going to hit Iceland as hard as the 2008 one.

Supervisorofearth13 karma

Will the pirate party be a non authoritarian form of government?

I'am a diligent endorser of the original endorsement of participant controlled governance. Wouldn't it be more simple to reduce power of state government and hand it to local government to be able to shorten the distance between voters and their representatives?

PiratePartyIceland20 karma

Ásta: Well, the mission is to make a more non-authoritarian form of government, so, yes. In Iceland the distance between voters and local government on one hand and national government on the other hand isn't the same as you'd get in larger, more populous countries. But I generally agree with the notion of bringing the power back to the people.

actegoric13 karma

Hey guys, if you get to form a left-wing government, will you launch a new referendum on continuing European Union accession talks? If yes, will you recommend to continue or stop talks? Best of luck next Saturday!

PiratePartyIceland33 karma


Pirate Party is not a left wing party, and it doesn't exactly fit on the traditional scale of left and right. Even though we are exploring the possibility on working with some parties that are on the traditional left, I'd not say that it'd be a left wing government, rather a reformist government focusing on systemic changes and anti-corruption measures.

We want to have a referrendum on whether we should continue the accession process with the EU. We don't have any specific stance on if they should continue or not, but personally I'm a EuroPhile. I like the EU, but that's my personal stance.


islredditorinn13 karma

Why are you doing this AMA in English? Aren't Icelandic speaking redditors your potential voters?

PiratePartyIceland53 karma

Smári: Just for fun. The idea came up because we were getting a lot of attention from foreign media, and thought there might be more interest among people who don't speak Icelandic. Also, virtually everybody in Iceland speaks really good English.

tilluminati12 karma

How do yiu typically handle people who assume your party is a joke?

How do you go about explaining what the Pirate Party really stands for?

PiratePartyIceland22 karma

Birgitta: We don't come across many people that assume that we are a joke, it might have been an issue when we were being formed, but it is not really something we experience now.

We are a party that focuses on human rights in the digital era, with special focus on direct democracy. You can read more about our core policy, all our policy had to be based on the principles found there. http://piratar.is/en/core-policy/

You can also find more info here: https://newint.org/features/2015/01/01/democracy-digital-era-keynote/ and here: http://grapevine.is/mag/feature/2015/11/19/hacking-politics/

Don_Ozwald11 karma

If you had to pick one Icelandic town you'd have to give back to Denmark, which one would you pick?

PiratePartyIceland17 karma

Birgitta: That would be the notorious town of Fosshöfn, who is to blame for the gigantic sinkhole east east west of nowhere.

nihilprism9 karma

I'm really interested in Iceland, but I'm unfamiliar with your political landscape. For starters, why are you called the Pirate Party, and why do you think you are currently favored in the polls?

PiratePartyIceland30 karma

Smári: In short, there are 12 parties running in the current elections, polling from virtually nothing to around 22%. We're called the Pirate Party in reference to a global movement of Pirate Parties that popped up over the last decade. Despite our name, we're taken fairly seriously in Iceland, in particular because of our very aggressive anti-corruption stance, our pro-transparency work, and our general push in the direction of a more information-driven society with strong civil liberties.

cedar_reader9 karma

On a lighter note, what are you going to do for the puffins? The world needs to know your stance.

PiratePartyIceland19 karma

Smári: The puffins need our help! In my home town, which used to be home to one of the largest puffin colonies in the world, there has been a collapse in the puffin population in recent years due to their food moving farther north, due largely to oceanic warming. It's been getting a bit better recently, but it's still not good enough.

Puffins are awesome though, so it's important we get climate change under control. Not just for puffins of course, but their welfare is reason enough, right?

themilkmaid997 karma

Can I emigrate easily as a British citizen ?

PiratePartyIceland26 karma

Ásta: As long as you stay in the EEA. Brexit, wtf?

opinberun7 karma

Birgitta. Every time a foreign media outlet interviews you, you are portrayed as potentially being the next PM of Iceland. Last time this happened was on Friday, when the Washington Post named you "possibly the country’s next leader". When you are asked by the Icelandic media if you want to be the next PM, you always say no. Why is that? Are the foreign reporters misunderstanding the situation? Have you ever tried to correct them?

PiratePartyIceland9 karma

Birgitta: I tell them this is not what I am seeking and that we have horizontal structure. They want juicy headlines. Just like the Icelandic media play it out as if Katrin Jakobsdóttir will be the next PM, even if she has never said she wants it. You can have a look at my faq at my web page if you dont believe me :) http://birgitta.is/92-2/

botnledja5 karma

Can we please just legalize weed like right meow ?

PiratePartyIceland4 karma

Smári: We want to decriminalize personal drug use. Drug abuse should be seen as a medical problem, not a criminal issue. Legalization is a different step that we should discuss another time.

opinberun5 karma

There have been news reports in Iceland claiming that the Pirate Party's MPs (which at the moment only counts three persons, Ásta and Birgitta being two of them) needed to engage a psychologist to get them to work together (see here ). What was the disagreement about? Is this disagreement the reason MP Helgi Hrafn is not running for a second term? Birgitta, would you say that it is difficult to get along with you?

PiratePartyIceland7 karma

Ásta: There wasn't one specific disagreement, but in general difficulty regarding communication and expectations and workflow. And no, it's not why Helgi Hrafn is not running again. Being an MP is a very stressful and draining job and sometimes it's just necessary to get a break from it.

purpleslug5 karma

As you guys actually have a chance of forming a government,

What will you do to restore international confidence into the Icelandic banking system? As a Brit, we definitely do not have a positive opinion of it.

PiratePartyIceland10 karma

Ásta: It's not like we have a positive experience with the icelandic banking system either. I am not sure it's so much the job of politicians to restore trust in banks, rather it is to make a sane environment around banking. The banks themselves have to restore the faith of other foreign banks and clients in themselves. Also, we actually jailed some of the bankers responsible for the crash here in 2008.

mtnmoonshadow4 karma

Hello, I'm looking forward to visiting Iceland right before your elections! I'm wondering what your voter turnout usually is? And any cool places to hang out this week? Good Luck on election day!

PiratePartyIceland8 karma

Ásta: Check out Stofan, Vinyl, Skúli, Micro Bar, Port9 and Reykjavík Roasters. All good places.

The turnout is usually pretty good so we are crossing our fingers! The young people are the ones most likely to sit at home so GO OUT AND VOTE PEOPLE!


PiratePartyIceland3 karma

Smári: Hi! I hope you have a lot of fun here. Are you coming for Airwaves perhaps? There are so many cool places all around the country ─ where will you be staying?

Voter turnout is quite high in Iceland. This summer in our presidential elections, 75.7% of voters voted, and in the 2013 parliamentary elections we had 81.44% turnout. We are usually quite disappointed with the state of our democracy if voter turnout goes below 75%, but it has happened a few times.

Mr-Sniffles4 karma

What's your opinion of the British and Norwegian fishing industry near Iceland and do you plan on raiding it?

PiratePartyIceland29 karma

Smári: We've won three cod wars against Britain. They had warships, we had awesome fishermen. Nuff' said. :-)

Esperantwo3 karma

What's your policy on renewable energy - how does it distinguish you from other parties, and what do you think other European nations should be doing with renewable energy that they are not?

Thanks, and good luck!

PiratePartyIceland30 karma

Smári: Right now, Iceland's energy for electricity production and heating is almost entirely renewable. There are a few places where emergency generators are still used on occasion, but that'll presumably go away with improvements to the power grid in those parts of the country that have that problem. The remainder of non-renewable energy is fossil fuels used for cars, ships, planes and the like.

Current projections (PDF) suggest that with increased use of electric cars, we can reduce our use of fossil fuels substantially. The Pirate Party therefore has a policy to try to build out the infrastructure for EV's quite fast, so that by 2025 we can stop importing new non-electric cars.

What distinguishes us from other parties here is mostly the speed at which we wish to achieve the Paris agreement goals, but to be fair, there are other parties that have quite radical environmental policies too.

As for Europe, my personal (if heretical) opinion is stop shutting down nuclear in favour of natural gas. Nuclear is problematic in various ways as everybody knows, but right now natural gas (not to mention coal) is a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Eventually nuclear should also go away in favour of renewables, in particular solar power and grid stabilization of various kinds ─ probably some mixture of batteries, molten salt, and other solutions.

bestur2 karma

What is Helgi Hrafn up to these days? Will he ever become a Minister if you get into power?

PiratePartyIceland2 karma

Ásta: He just got back from the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. So I believe he's sleeping now because jetlag. And I don't know who's gonna be a minister. Maybe?

PiratePartyIceland3 karma

Ásta: Maybe Smári will do it.

PiratePartyIceland19 karma

Smári: I have been banned from public singing. Humanitarian concerns were cited.

Ruvio002 karma

Could you possibly have all of your official announcements sung by Arstidir?

On a more serious note, do you think the victory of the Icelandic Pirate Party could cause a huge shift in how politics is traditionally viewed? I'm from the UK, and as I'm sure you know our politics needs a huge kick in the ass, as well as the mobilisation of young voters that seem to be willing to let politics pass them by and just complain after the fact.

PiratePartyIceland3 karma

Birgitta: Didn't you know they are already doing it at train stations all over Iceland ;)

We are hoping that we can inspire our fellow countrymen to be more engaged in taking part in shaping their society and feel more empowered, and if that spills over to other countries we would be deeply moved. We need a real antidote against the dystopia and fear that is spreading all over the world like a virus. We have somehow managed to shift the persception of dystopia after the financial collapse to a inspiration that not only can individuals change the world around them but also that individuals must put the effort into having an influence in the world around them. No onle else is going to do it for them. Within this realisation lies incredible empowerment.

Layout_2 karma

Hi I have a question about the coalition negotiations going on between the reformist parties right now that was spearheaded by the Pirate Party. How optimistic are you on getting the new constitution passed in a timely manner with so many parties at the table that all have their own platforms and reforms they want implemented. Is it feasible or even possible to get these parties on the same boat to go for a shorter term when they all want to change so much?

PiratePartyIceland1 karma

Smári: Hi! Great question, thanks. I was at a meeting this morning with the other parties. It was quite good, we found a lot of common ground, including around the constitution. I'm very optimistic that we'll be able to finish the constitution within a reasonable amount of time.

kryzer222 karma


In the newest issue of Stundin, Smári with a simple "nei" (no), when asked whether he was worried about loss of capital in the Icelandic fishing industry should the fishing quota be put up for auction. Do you mean that you are not worried or conscious of the consequences, or that you don't worry simply because you do not care (or some third option)?


PiratePartyIceland6 karma

Smári: We certainly care and we're absolutely conscious of the risks. But we are not worried about loss of capital in the industry because moving to an auction method does not threaten existing capital, if it's implemented in a sensible way. Of course we will aim to implement it in a sensible way. The goal is to increase fairness in the system, not upend everything.

shinreialba2 karma

Hello there, i follow your respective twitters and enjoy what you often speak about (when i can understand it that is :p )

i was wondering, do you think a new economic model, for example friot's lifelong salary, would be viable? (not universal income, but lifelong salary)

PiratePartyIceland3 karma

Ásta: Maybe? I haven't read Friot's life long salary. We're entering a new economic phase of automation. It's something we have to look into, I think it's the responsible thing to do.

Meshakhad1 karma

Where does the Icelandic Pirate Party stand on raiding and pillaging? Would you consider a return to this time-honored Norse practice to boost the economy? You are, after all, the Pirate Party. /s

PiratePartyIceland2 karma

Smári: We oppose piracy as defined in Article 101 of the Law of the Sea.

AUserNamedWaffle1 karma

This question isn't nearly as serious as the others, but what do you guys think about Cory Doctorow's books Little Brother and Homeland? I know they mention you fairly frequently, so have any of you guys read them, or had a hand in writing them?

Unrelated, but you guys are badass. Keep it real, and good luck from America.

PiratePartyIceland2 karma

Ásta: I didn't like the style of the book from a literary perspective. Thought it was too childish and slow and describing everything Tolkien style or something. Made me annoyed so I quit reading it. Like how he accidentally goes into a tent with John Gilmore and co. and they're playing DnD, it's ok, I can totally see this happening, I've had my nails done at some camp with Gilmore so him playing DnD isn't the strangest idea in the world, but how the whole scene was described just made me cringe. But the concept is interesting. I haven't met Cory, yet.

PiratePartyIceland1 karma

Smári: Hi! I loved Little Brother (and even taught a course once based on it!), but unfortunately I haven't had a chance to read Homeland yet. Both Birgitta and I know Cory, he's awesome.

vandebries1 karma

Any chance you can run for the US presidency? A lot of us think that would be pretty cool of you.

PiratePartyIceland1 karma

Smári: I don't think so. Why not just learn from our example and start a new political movement there? It's hard work, but a lot of fun!

The_Impaler_1 karma

In America, third parties are nowhere near as strong as they are in Iceland. What advice would you give to third parties in America?

PiratePartyIceland1 karma

Smári: Focus on local governments, state legislatures, etc. Build up from the small stuff, because that's the way of slowly accumulating the prestige and money needed to play the big game. Your system is awfully undemocratic, but there are certainly ways around it. Don't underestimate the state legislatures!

Buadach1 karma

How did you manage to foster so much grass roots support?

PiratePartyIceland2 karma

Ásta: By being so awesome and open and honest about things. We don't necessarily have the solution, but would like to find out with your help how to fix things!

RolandIce1 karma

Halló elsku píratar

Would the party be open to the idea of sending an envoy to Copenhagen to pick up votes cast there since some slobs, myself included, will probably not make the deadline of mailing the vote?


PiratePartyIceland2 karma

Ásta: Well, have you actually gotten your paper ballot and everything? It shouldn't be difficult to do, if we find someone to actually do it...

Picklestasteg00d1 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA.

Question one: Will you melt the ice on Greenland and put it on Iceland, so that the countries live up to their names?

Two: What's your favorite letter? I assume it's R.

Three, an actual question: How did the Panama Papers scandal affect the Pirate Party poll percentages (tongue twister right there)? Did it lower or raise the amount of votes for the Pirate Party?


PiratePartyIceland2 karma

Smári: Hi! Thanks for these amazing questions. One: Nah, we're already importing too much ice. Two: I quite like P. Three: Surprisingly, we went down slightly immediately after the Panama Papers, and kept a downward trend for a while. I don't know why. I guess it triggered a lot of discontent in all directions. We're currently on the rise again though!

Coioco-1 karma


PiratePartyIceland2 karma

Smári: Nope.