Iceland's Pirate Party Could Be on Course for an Electoral V

Iceland#8217s national elections take place on Saturday, and at present, a radical fringe party could be heading for the win.

One in five Icelanders favor the Pirate Party, according to an online opinion poll run by the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Iceland, the Iceland Monitor reports.

The results of the poll put the Pirates in the lead with 22.6%, ahead of the incumbent center-right Independence party by one and a half points.

From its beginnings in the radical margins four years ago, to its position at the center point mdash and counterpoint mdash of mainstream Icelandic politics today, the rise of Iceland#8217s Pirate Party has been short and sharp.

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#8220Itrsquos a peoplersquos movement,#8221 founder Birgitta Jonsdottir, a web designer and former WikiLeaks activist, told the Washington Post in a video interview. #8220Ordinary people being able to go into parliament and change laws that were actually give other people more power. Itrsquos a message of hope.#8221

Iceland#8217s Pirate Party is part of a global political movement that first began in Sweden in 2006 to bring about digital-copyright reform. According to the Post, the party#8217s political leanings are neither right nor left and policy is vague, focusing on direct democracy, civil rights, transparency and public access to information.

In 2013, three members of Iceland#8217s Pirate Party were elected to parliament mdash making Iceland the only country in the world to have members of the Pirate movement in government.

ldquoThe Pirates are promising people a new kind of politics,#8221 Professor Ragnheidur Kristjansdottir of the University of Iceland told the Post. #8220Less corrupt politics where people can participate in a more direct way.#8221

[Iceland Monitor, Washington Post]

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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