Last year, we suffered through a dishonest presidential campaign, a presidential campaign that for some involved smearing names of fellow candidates and diminishing them to porcelain dolls.
In the end, the same president was elected for the fifth consecutive term. It was a result to which I fundamentally oppose because in my mind no president should serve for more than two terms. The same should apply to a Prime Minister in government.
It also meant that nothing changed. No fresh face came to office with new ideas and values after the financial crash of 2008.
One would hope the political parties had learnt a lesson or two since the financial crash. But I don’t believe much has changed for themajority.
As per the game of politics, the parties are as reluctant as ever to change and adapt their ideals to fit the current overall situation.
Even the most important change to be made in the Icelandic constitution won’t be made in time.
We won’t be able to elect individuals to parliament. We have to vote for a single party and the only opportunity to make an actual difference is to alter the order of party leadership as we see fit.
Change is feared, not encouraged.
I have watched politicians on the opposite side of the administration. They have challenged a number of changes the current administration has attempted to pass. They have delayed debates with málþóf, an Icelandic word meaning ‘excessive babbling.’ It’s like a game of chess without action. One side acts. The other delays with words, rather than acting in response or accepting defeat over a policy or two.
As the elections approach, we hear more and more promises. Empty promises?
As a concerned citizen somewhat exhausted with constant bickering in parliament, I am very skeptical we’ll see positive changes when a new government is elected.
In my mind, the main problem is that the party with the most votes is not obliged to work with the party with the second-highest number of votes. The party leadership chooses a party with which their political interests are best served.
The art of conversation is not allowed to flourish in these grand halls with parties of different beliefs working together to their best ability in the name of the people who voted them into power.
All parties have their pet projects and for the parties opposing the EU negotiations, the most important thing to do is to nip the negotiations in the bud.
So far, only the Left Greens appear to trust the public to vote yes or no to the terms and conditions of the final contract in a national referendum, in spite of their opposition. They also voted in a new party leader who has remained relatively popular throughout the term coming to an end.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir is in her thirties and the new face of the party, replacing the party’s leader of many years, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.
I like her and the party’s environmental policies. I still don’t agree with a number of their policies but I appreciate the vote of confidence.
Other parties, such as the Progressive Party and the Independence Party simply want to stop the negotiations immediately and will wait and see about a national referendum later in the year. The majority party vote has little faith in the meager public to whom they answer. No grand changes in leadership either.
The Independence Party changed its tune rather drastically during their recent annual meeting and attempted to establish itself as a Christian party.
They wanted to make it their policy to follow Christian values in the legislation process. This is unheard of in Icelandic politics.
Thankfully, the proposal was rebuffed by the Youth Organization of the Independence Party of Iceland. The youth league is for members aged 15 to 35. The same group suggested all academics employed by the University of Iceland who advised against going the EFTA court route in the Icesave mess, should be permitted to work in such an esteemed state institution.
Basically, having an opinion that is not in accordance to the popular opinion is not encouraged. The proposal was rejected.
The one party I may give a chance is Bright Future.
I will need to investigate further the intricacies of the policies upon which they base their election campaign but for now I know their disposition to the EU, environmental industries and simplification of the tax system are favorable to mine. The party appears to adopt the best of left and right wing policies.
But I suspect the pendulum will swing once more from left to the right.
Unless politicians see their job as a management position in a company where staff’s welfare and future is put first by finding the best solution regardless of personal beliefs and ambitions, nothing will change. A good politician puts his people first.
Whatever happens, something’s gotta change.
Júlíana Björnsdóttir – firstname.lastname@example.org