Pirate support reaches 23.9 percent in recent poll, passing conservative party.
Hmmm... So one of the three seat holders of the Icelandic Parliament wants to help Snowden...? Interesting. I say let him be...
Nearly two years after the Icelandic Pirate Party won three seats in the island nation’s parliament in 2013, a new poll shows that the young party has the highest level of support of any party in the country. According to Visir.is, an Icelandic news site, the party’s support has reached 23.9 percent.
If the Píratar can translate that level of current support into actual votes in the next election (currently scheduled for2017), it could lead to a higher likelihood that the country would grant asylum for Edward Snowden, possibly granting him citizenship as well. The Pirates put forward such a bill (Google Translate) in parliament in 2013, but it has not advanced.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who founded the party in 2012, previously told an assembled crowd in Berkeley, California, that she very much wants to help the National Security Agency whistleblower. She currently holds one of the Pirate Party’s three seats in the Icelandic parliament.
The Icelandic parliament has the power to bestow citizenship on applicants by a simple majority vote—most famously this happened with chess champion Bobby Fischer in 2005. Fischer, a native-born American, had run afoul of sanctions laws when he played a match in then-Yugoslavia in 1992. Once he became an Icelander, Fischer flew from Japan, where he had been held in prison, directly to Denmark and on to Iceland. (He lived in Iceland until his death in 2008.)
Birgitta Jónsdottír speaks in Berkeley along with famed Pentagon Papers leaker.
As Ars reported in 2013, the party has become the mostsuccessful Pirate Party in any national legislative body around the globe. Iceland’s unicameral parliament, known in Icelandic as the Alþing (“All-thing”), has just 63 members to represent the country’s 320,000 people.
By comparison, the Czech Republic has one Pirate Partyparliamentarian, Germany has 45 state-level Pirate lawmakers (as well as recent party struggles), and Sweden has two representatives of its Pirate Party in the European Parliament. As is the case anywhere Pirates hold elective office, the group still represents a tiny minority in Iceland—most of the seats in the Alþing will go to the center-rightIndependence Party. In the United States, the Pirate Party has had very limited success and is extremely unlikely to get elected to either the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Birgitta is also one of three activists involved in a WikiLeaks investigation currently underway in the United States. In November 2011, a district court judge found that prosecutors could compel Twitter to give up specific information on the three accounts, including IP addresses, direct messages, and other data. In January 2013, a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled (PDF) that Birgitta and the two others have no right to find out which other companies the government sought information from besides Twitter.
The trio, along with other members of Iceland’s digerati (including Smári McCarthy, who also is one of the organizers of the International Modern Media Initiative), founded the party in late 2012. The Pirate Party at large was founded in Sweden in 2006, focusing on a digital agenda including items such as intellectual property law reform and related Internet policies.