Yesterday, it was still snowing in the capital.
In two days it is the first day of summer, an official holiday here in Iceland. The temperature will be below freezing.
And two days into summer, we will have the general election. The result could be even chillier.
If the polls are right the big winner will be the Progressive Party.
They have made the grandest promises. And people are buying it.
The two governing parties, the Social Democratic Alliance and Left-Green Movement, have lost around half of their supporters since the last elections four years ago, according to the latest polls.
It seems that people have no interest in finishing the negotiations with the European Union, the Social Democratic Alliance’s biggest agenda, or fixing the issue of gender inequality, the main topic which the Left-Green Movement is fighting for.
The Progressive Party, which promises to lower the mortgage of all Icelanders by 20 percent, is attracting people in herds.
People are voting with their wallets. The Progressive Party will be the largest party at Alþingi, the parliament, after the elections on Saturday.
Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (1975) will be our next PM. He will be the third youngest head of state in the world. And the youngest elected.
The only leaders younger are Kim Jong-un (1983), the Supreme Leader of North Korea, and Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (1980), the King of Bhutan.
But my feeling, my general feeling, is that people are tired of politics and politicians.
As my son, voting for his second time, said: “My generation thinks nothing will change, whatever we vote for, politicians, they are all the same.”
Maybe he is right and he is right about the politics in Iceland.
And if we cannot understand our politics, how can foreigners. In this week’s issue of the Economist there are two articles about Iceland. The first: ‘The rice man cometh’ about the new free trade deal between China and Iceland. The other: ‘Naked ambition,’ about how ultra-liberal Iceland wants to ban online pornography. Two pages.
Of course, when ministers, like the Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, talks publicly about wanting to ban online pornography, it garners attention, even outside our fishing grounds.
Ögmundur is a weathercock. The problem is that there was no wind. With this dirty talk he was fishing for feminist votes in the upcoming elections.
There was no seriousness behind his talks. He knew that there would never be a majority in support of banning online pornography.
After all, we are ultra-liberal.
And people can make changes. Young people can change history.
Look at Malala Yousafzai. The 15-year-old icon and the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in history.
And the world’s youngest leader Kim Jong-un.
Páll Stefánsson - [email protected]