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Why isn’t there a new Kitchenware Revolution?

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…

Posted by The Iceland Weather Report on Wednesday, November 27, 2013

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.

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  • Chris November 28, 2013, 1:33 pm

    There was another pretty important thing in 2009. The coalition was formed of socialdemocrats and independence party and the first where willing to break up the government. If they hadn’t done so, Geir would have at least ended his term in office. I highly doubt, that one of the parties forming the actual government is going to act like this, especially not the progressive party.

  • alda November 28, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Good point Chris.

  • Whereiskelso November 28, 2013, 2:06 pm

    Yes Chris, agreed. So Alda, is there any other way that a government could be unseated? Is it really only from within the parliament? I feel now that everyone is just waiting to get christmas out of the way. Then we may well see some action.

    Maybe though, the government will have some positive news tomorrow re. debt relief. That is why they made the RUV announcement yesterday – people’s anger will be tempered by the feel-good factor of free money…? I wonder…

  • Tim Hart November 28, 2013, 2:59 pm

    The Icelandic citizens have more voting power than any other country in the world 2nd to the Vatican, If any where in the world was to make a stand it would be here. The natives are very academically intelligent but sadly common sense is rarely seen amongst them. The Icelanders just say “Þetta reddast” “it will work it self out some how” which is not what should be felt and said when as a nation and as a country we have so much potential to be pioneers to the world with our natural resources and technologies. Too many sheep and not enough Rams !

  • Chris November 28, 2013, 8:55 pm

    @Tim: What do you mean with “more voting power”? If the government decides to stay in office and the majority in the parlament doesn’t do anything else the people can demonstrate as much as they want, nothing will happen. Elections are only held when the parlament is dissolved, which will not happen.

  • Tim Hart November 29, 2013, 1:05 am

    @Chris: Very accurate, You are correct in that view point. My View point is that with the voting power there is a moral or obligatory duty that goes with the people of the land, Not just 13 families as it were. I for one would love to see the family connections with either our Canadian or Norwegian brothers assisting in guiding a government here, with running their currency in parallel to the Isk. krona for a two year period.

    But hey, I can dream can´t I ?

  • blaraka November 29, 2013, 10:33 am

    I am coming to Iceland for student exchange in January and as I have written my bachelor thesis about icelandic economic policy before the crisis I would say I am not biggest fan of Independence Party and Progressive Party. I am very cautious about openly critisizing other countries’ elected officials because I think it’s not what foreigners should generally do (when human rights violation are not involved) but this news about RUV really saddens me…
    BTW. Magnificent blog! Thank you for doing this;)

  • Michael November 29, 2013, 11:35 am

    Yes, no revolution! Not even a shit storm cyber space! Though a small protest outside RUV! Why? Why did people vote those two parties back into power? I used to think people are smart. Now a friend (Icelander) told me I was wrong: people are stupid? Which is it? Curiously another friend (also Icelander) tells me there will be a new government by latest November 2014!?