Today, in cruelly misleading news, Iceland’s nascent Pirate Party made an electoral breakthrough. In a Saturday poll, the party earned 5.1% of the vote and several of the 63 seats in Iceland’s parliament, the Althingi.
Sadly, the party has little to do with the country’s seafaring roots. Formed in 2006 by a group of hackers and file-sharers, the "Pirates" have devoted themselves to freedom of information and expression. They are, according to party leader, Birgitta Jonsdottir, the "political arm of the information revolution." Though the party sports a buccaneering black flag as its logo, its members are largely free of scurvy and wooden limbs.
The Pirate Party has made significant headway in Iceland since the country’s 2008 financial collapse, pushing populist ideas such as a new, crowd-sourced constitution. Jonsdottir, who has collaborated with the group WikiLeaks in the past, served in the government in 2009 as part of the Citizens’ Movement, and is the only elected member with parliamentary experience.