With everything that’s been happening here in Iceland recently [and believe me, a lot has gone down recently], many people – largely from outside Iceland, but also people who live here – are wondering why we don’t just go out and start a new Kitchenware Revolution. Why we don’t just oust these jokers from office, like we did in 2009?
Before I go further, here’s what went down yesterday:
What a sad, sad day in the history of this country. Thanks to the stellar policies of the Independence and Progressive…
So, yeah. I get why people are clamoring for a new Kitchenware Revolution. However, no one ever talks about the pivotal factors on which such an undertaking hinges.
First, “we the Icelandic people” are not a unified, homogenous group. People have varying opinions about what is going on. And while some might be willing to take to the streets, others are not. Let us not forget that the people currently in government were democratically elected just this past spring, and still retain a lot of support – although they have also lost a substantial amount.
Secondly, a pots and pans revolution needs to be organized. Someone has to arrange for a mobile stage, for speakers during each demonstration, for people to pass around buckets for donations, and so on. And most importantly, there must be clear objectives. The last Kitchenware Revolution didn’t gain momentum until these things were in place. Initially there was just a lot of unfocused anger – but as soon as clear objectives were formed [resignation of the government, resignation of the Central Bank director, new elections, etc.] then things began to move. The last time the protests were led by Hörður Torfason – but he is not willing to do that again. And I don’t see anyone stepping forward to volunteer to lead the effort.
Tomorrow the government is going to unveil its plans to fulfill their Big Election Promise – debt relief. We’ll see how convincing they are then, and what happens to their support in the wake of the announcement. If the people feel betrayed, something might go down. But in my experience of the last few months, the politicians now in power are highly skilled at making lukewarm promises and dangling the carrot just far enough in front of people’s faces to pacify their anger and keep them following.
We shall see.