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View Diary: The Icelandic Revolution (and what we can learn from it) (19 comments)

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  •  Ahh, I see (1+ / 0-)
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    wilderness voice

    I will have to adjust the narrative accordingly.... thank you for the information!! I did look it up, but found no tags or information on this that I could see!! I will correct it immediately!!

    "The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    by Seanryan on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:10:14 PM PST

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    •  domain level google searching is the (1+ / 0-)
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      wilderness voice

      way to go. Iceland banks should pull up everything relevant.

      •  That's probably why (1+ / 0-)
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        wilderness voice

        I couldn't find it. I was doing tag search through the website. Lol. I have gone ahead and edited the diary to reflect the correct information. My thanks to you and my apologies to Rei for stealing his thunder. Lol.

        "The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

        by Seanryan on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:27:30 PM PST

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        •  I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. (0+ / 0-)

          Sorry for the delay, I just got up, it's only 9:20 here.

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 01:21:12 AM PST

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          •  Understandable (0+ / 0-)

            but first allow me to offer my apology as a true gentleman would.

            Let me ask you this, as an Icelander, where do you go from here? What is the situation in your country? What is the feeling from the citizens? Not just the fishing magnates, but the common man (or woman). Are you out of luck or do you still have hope?

            "The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

            by Seanryan on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 03:40:53 AM PST

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            •  Oh, there's plenty of hope. (2+ / 0-)
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              Seanryan, petral

              I mean, there's some people who've pretty much totally given up on politics long ago (such as my fiance), but there's a proportionally large population that's very politically active compared to the US (we usually get around 85% voter turnout if that gives you any idea). For example, half the local musicians I've Like'd on Facebook have been working to rally their fans out to protests to support public broadcasting. The backlash against the hospital cuts was similarly harsh, as was the veiðigjald abolishment and all of the other stuff they've done. Heck, probably the least controversial thing they've done of significance was drop out of EU accession negotiations, in that only a little over half the public opposed that. The governing coalition has dropped significantly in the polls - you can only pass policies that 70-80% of the public is against one after another for so long before they turn on you. The last two polls have shown them getting 36,3% and 43,4%, respectively, if a new election was held today. They got 51,1% during the last election. I don't expect any sort of real recovery of their numbers unless they majorly change course.

              And that which they're doing now, these sorts of funding changes, can easily be undone if we get a new leftist coalition in power. Getting the constitution through will be harder, but I still think it'll happen in the end.

              I'm really happy to see that by and large the Pirates have been caucusing with the left. In many ways pirate parties might seem to be naturally leftist parties, but they also draw a lot from conservative libertarian spheres. The pirate's candidate list during the last election was pretty concerning, too, with the women-hating candidates only possibly being outdone in the "unappealing" factor by the candidate who thinks the world is secretly controlled by lizardmen. But so far I'm happy with what they've been doing, Birgitta especially. Maybe next time we'll have a Samfylkingin/Vinstri grænn/Björt framtíð/Pirate coalition. I sure hope we don't get another wave of little leftist parties the next time like we did last time, though.  :Þ

              Issues of "banksters" which everyone here on DK seems to focus on really take a backseat for me. That sort of stuff pretty much ended with the EFTA court ruling. My main political issues here are (national and local, in no particular order):

              * Continue to develop geothermal but back off on the hydroelectric, esp. on the Þjórsá. Low temperature geothermal should be given priority, even if at higher cost, to make use of the massive, currently-thrown-away energy potential from the lower-temperature wells used for heating. The new wind pilot projects should be continued and expanded but mass deployment in wilderness areas should be strictly avoided.
              * Resume EU accession negotiations to actually get a deal before deciding whether to accept or reject it (I'm cautiously-for, for a variety of reasons, but want to see specifics)
              * Restore cut social services and pay for it with taxes on the wealthy
              * Pass the constitution
              * Stop the tearing down of Miðbær for hotels, keep new hotel construction away from the town center.
              * Build Sundabraut.
              * Hvalfjörðurgöng to become free in 2018, with the only permissible exception being to pay for the proposed tunnel expansion.
              * Fight harder against the scumbag sex-trafficking strip club owners and all like them.
              * Change laws and the makeup of the supreme court where necessary to weaken the power of defamation suits to silence critics. And anyone who supported the majority opinion on the "the forced vaginal penetration was not rape because the attacker said his motive wasn't sexual" rape case should never have a job in the judicial system again.
              * Move forward on the undersea cable to the UK, but make sure that all profit from electricity sales goes to the state, not private companies, and use part of it to pay for an electricity rebate to counter the resulant increase in electricity prices. Whoever builds the cable, whether private or governmental, should get nothing more than a fair market rate for the costs of the cable, a fair fixed profit, and a fair market rate for the risk involved in the project - no ongoing / unlimited / percentage-of-operations / etc profits. And see point #1 concerning power sources.
              * New rule: if anyone in parliament utters the phrase "einkavæðing" (privatization) or similar or in any other way wants to imitate America (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn and Framsóknarflokkurinn, I'm looking at you), it's permissable to hurl skyr at them.

              Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

              by Rei on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 05:20:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow, I'm speechless... (0+ / 0-)

                That was perfectly articulated. I don't say that in surprise, but what a well-laid out set of goals. Lol. Now, one of the things I was wondering about is what was it that set the population off in the first place? What was the spark that led to protests and revolution? How will it happen again to change the system?

                It's obvious from what you describe that there is no possible way the current government can continue on this path without serious consequences. Have you heard from people what the last straw would be?

                "The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

                by Seanryan on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:21:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Also, (0+ / 0-)

                  Do I have your permission to update this diary with your comments regarding the current situation, in their entirety?

                  "The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

                  by Seanryan on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:22:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Well, first. (1+ / 0-)
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                  I'd stop calling it a "revolution" like everyone on Daily Kos seems to want to call it. I mean, is it a revolution when America goes from a right-center Republican government to a left-center Democratic government? It was just an election. One with good results, but still, it was just democracy in action.

                  What set off the population? Everything went to hell. As I've mentioned elsewhere, Iceland's crash was the biggest per-capita in recorded history. The three major banks' failures were per-capita equivalent to 500 Lehman Brothers going down at once. The Icelandic stock market practically disappeared - lucky were those that didn't go bankrupt. The currency collapsed to half its value and has stayed there ever since - that in a country where most goods are imported and most loans were taken out with their principal denominated in foreign currency.

                  The Icesave issue was just one of many, though it's one most people here are most familiar with. Ironically, it's the one that had the least to do with "banksters" (they're known here as útrásarvíkingar, "outvasion vikings). Icesave was a conflict between governments. And pretty much everything Britain did (and to the lesser extent the Netherlands, but especially the British) was absurd. They were obligated under EU banking law to insure the accounts if the primary insurance for the accounts couldn't. The banks had a private fund backing them - which went bankrupt. This was fully in compliance with EU banking law, and even a cursory reading of the law makes this obvious - they don't specify that banks must be government insured, just that they be insured. So the very fact that Britain used every method in the book to try to blackmail Iceland into paying money that we didn't owe, up to and including invoking anti-terrorism laws against us, wasn't exactly endearing - especially given that we sacrificed to work out Landsbankinn's toxic assets so that they could ultimately pay Britain back. Makes me quite glad to know that they're stuck paying our court costs after their complete and total loss in the EFTA courts.

                  At the time, though, victory was all but certain for us. We had the law on our side, but little Iceland winning against Britain and the Netherlands, in a court heavily influenced by the EU, with the EU backing them? If we'd lost it would have been devastating. And Britain was applying all sorts of other pressure, even trying to sabotage our ability to get loans and our EU accession negotiations. It's like the Cod Wars all over again, only this time we couldn't win by threatening to give the NATO base in Keflavík over to the Soviets. So not only did the previous conservative government try to negotiate a repayment deal, but even the subsequent liberal government (albeit they got a more leniant repayment deal).

                  But as stated, Icesave was just one issue. Most people were just furious about everything falling apart around them. When you're losing your job, losing your savings, prices are spiking due to your collapsed currency, and you find yourself owing double the principle on your house and car loans while the value of the assets drops... and there's clear "villains" in the case, both in business and their government enablers... it's obvious what's going to be the reaction.

                  As for this current government? The "last straw" will be the next election. This is a democracy. It will be in either 2017 or if parliament changes hands due to defections or a break in the coalition (unlikely)

                  Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                  by Rei on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 04:54:10 PM PST

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