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Iceland’s Pirate Party on Systemic Change in Developing Democracy

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 16:56
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Rarely does systems theory become a political issue; instead, political parties and their respective candidates brandish policy positions geared to fixing particular issues (i.e., parts of systems). In Iceland, the Pirate Party proffered an exception leading up to the 2016 election. “We do not define ourselves as left or right but rather as a party that focuses on the systems,” said Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the party’s leader.[1]In other words, the party made system itself the issue. “We stand for enacting changes that have to do with reforming the systems, rather than changing minor things that might easily be changed back,” she said.[2]Even if the minor things could not be easily changed back, I contend that fixing them is still sub-optimal when the systems of which they are part are warped, and thus deficient as wholes. Therefore, a political party’s emphasis on systems as themselves being in need of reform presents the world’s population with a practical way to redress systemic problems.

The full essay is at “Iceland’s Pirate Party.”


1. Kim Hjelmgaard, “Hacker-founded Pirate Party Could Win Iceland’s Election,” USA Today, October 28, 2016.
2. Ibid.

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