So as expected, the Social Democratic Party and the Left-Greens look set to continue their collaboration in the wake of yesterday’s elections. This despite that pesky disagreement on the EU: the SDP want to enter into talks with the European Union immediately, whereas the LGs are adopting a more cautious stance and want a national referendum to be held on whether or not talks should commence – and, in the event of a go-ahead, another referendum on whether or not to join the EU. The latter makes perfect sense to YT, the former not. Referendums cost money, and it just seems like an undue waste of time and resources.
The general sentiment in Icelandic society is overwhelmingly pro-EU-talks at the moment; anyone with half an ear to the ground can pick up on that. I wish they’d stop beating around the fricking bush and just get on with it. How risky can TALKING be, f’rcryingoutloud? It’s not like those big old ogres at the EU are going to gobble us up at the first sign of weakness.
The two parties seem absolutely set on resolving their differences so they can work together, in fact they’re like a mutual-admiration society all the way, just love being together. And to be sure, they’re a far better match than that ill-fated Independence Party-SDP coalition a couple years back … gah! I’m sure most of us would like to forget that awful blemish on this country’s political history. Just the thought of it makes me cringe. Meanwhile it seems pretty obvious that the LGs are going to be the ones to back down on the EU issue, although they’ll probably try to spin it somehow with that referendum so they can at least save face a little bit. My suspicion is that they would have liked to have reneged on it sometime in the last week when the EU issue received a major boost and was on everyone’s lips, but they just couldn’t do it. Too close to the elections, and it would have been too much of a disgrace. Instead they’ll manage to wangle their way out of it somehow, without looking like they’re breaking a promise.
Anyway, the dark horse in these elections and the one I’m most enthusiastic about is the Citizens’ Movement, which formed as a direct result of the protests that were ongoing here last fall and winter. The movement is a mere nine weeks old and, as I mentioned in the last post, had no real budget for running a campaign, and yet they received over seven percent of the votes and got four seats in parliament. To me that just goes to show how the times they are a-changing’ around here, and I’m thrilled that all our intensive protesting last fall has borne fruit. Like two of their spokespeople said: “Last fall we were banging on the windows of the parliament buildings to be let in. Today, we ARE in. The voices of the people will be heard in parliament.” To me, that’s just amazing. LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY!!
One other newsworthy bit: never before in Iceland’s history have as many women been elected to parliament. They now account for 43 percent of MPs, which is just great.
Seriously, all this fills me with great hope.
LOVELY DAY, MUCH LIKE YESTERDAY
With a hazy cloud cover and occasional sun peeking out from behind it. Minimal wind. Right now 9°C [48F], the sun came up at 5:17 am and set at 9:36 pm.