With veteran politicians stepping aside, a new generation has taken lead of Iceland’s largest political parties. Iceland Review asked each of them six questions on their parties’ policies, the April 27 general election and their future plans.
Published in the 2013 April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.13. By Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir. Photos by Geir Ólafsson.
l. What is your party’s political orientation? ll. What issues does your party emphasize in the campaign for the 2013 election? lll. How do you anticipate your odds at the election? lV. Which party (or parties) would you prefer for a coalition? V. What is your party’s position on the European Union talks? Vl. What would be your first task as Prime Minister?
Björt framtíð (Bright Future; BF)Heiða Kristín Helgadóttir (born 1983) Guðmundur Steingrímsson (born 1972) Elected co-chairs in 2012 Never been MP/MP since 2009
l. We define ourselves as a broadminded, liberal, green and pacifist party.
ll. To conclude accession talks with the EU and afterwards set a clear future economic policy. Also work towards finding financial solutions for those who need them and review the administrative and social system that allows far too much waste of talent, time and money.
Vinstrihreyfingin – grænt framboð(Left Green Movement; LGM) Kat rín Jakobsdóttir (born 1976) Elected chair in 2013 MP since 2007
l. Our movement is to the left and green—we emphasize equality and social justice, the environment, pacifism and women’s liberation. So the scale from left to right is not sufficient.
ll. Our priority is to strengthen society’s healthcare, welfare and education systems. In order to do that, we must guarantee equal and stable economic gain on a sustainable basis. We intend to do that with continued development of a diverse economy with focus on innovation, hi-tech and creative industries. We stress that the development of the employment market and the economy must be sustainable so that the resources of nature and society aren’t overexploited.
Framsóknarflokkurinn(Progressive Party; PP) Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlau gsson (born 1975) Elected chair in 2009 MP since 2009
l. The PP is in the center.
ll. Correction of mutated mortgages of households, abolishing of the indexation, simplification of the taxation system and regulatory environment for businesses, development of the healthcare and education systems and the affairs of senior citizens and citizens with disabilities.
Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn(Independence Pa rty; IP) Bjarni Benediktsson (born 1970) Elected chair in 2009 MP since 2003
l. To the right.
ll. Employment issues, the affairs of homeowners and responsible state finances.
Samfylkingin– Jafnaðarmannaflokkur Íslands (Social Democrat ic Alliance; SDA) Árni Páll Árnason (born 1966) Elected chair in 2013 MP since 2007
l. The SDA is a center-left party in the Icelandic political landscape. The party first ran for parliament in 1999 and was formally founded the following year. The SDA has deep roots at the left-wing of politics, in the labor unions and the fight for human rights and women’s liberation in the past century. The SDA is part of the international movement of social democrats.
ll. The SDA spearheads responsible economic management and stability as it always has. A stable currency that doesn’t cause inflation is the most important matter of interest for households and companies. We want to provide housing security at decent long-term conditions, whether people chose to live in rental housing or buy their own properties. The SDA emphasizes healthy prioritization of state expenses, Iceland’s admission to the EU and adoption of the euro, and solid welfare based on a diverse economy. The SDA carries the banner of human rights and women’s liberation, guards the rights of immigrants and promotes peace and international cooperation.
*You can read the remainder of the party representatives’ responses in the 2013 April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.13. Five times a year the print edition of Iceland Review & Atlantica brings you a wealth of articles on all aspects of life in Iceland including Páll Stefánsson's latest images of the country’s majestic landscape. Click here to subscribe and here to browse through a selection of pages from the current issue.