Monday, April 27, 2009

Congrats to the people of Iceland

I'd be remiss if I did not extend congratulations and a wish of good luck to the citizens of Iceland, who've swept a now-solidly socialist government into their parliament in their most recent election. José Tirado has more to say about the election in Iceland's New Dawn:

Is this a coup for the Left? Possibly. European Union membership is now the big issue, and unlike most of the Parliament, the Left-Greens are not in favor. Is this a big victory for the people against the moneyed interests who have ruined the world economy? Definitely. Without engaging in too much hyperbole, this next government will take office reflecting a new era of populist revolt against the policies embodied by speculative banking and investment, emblematic of the past 20 years or so in public policy around the world. Don’t let anyone tell you that 300,000+ people can’t signal a shift that might have repercussions for the US . At 1/1000th the population and a far more homogenous society than the US is, it might at first appear so. But looks can be deceiving.

Icelanders took to the streets with grit and determination following revelations that their ruined economy was driven into the ground by self-serving politicians interested more in hobnobbing with celebrities and selling off the country’s resources to the highest bidder than in advancing the people’s best interests. The people decided (in their typically reserved Icelandic manner) that enough is enough and nonviolently toppled the establishment in just a few short months. The people withheld their support, obstructed the governance of the country, and demanded completely new elections. They got all of that and more. A whopping 85.1% of eligible voters voted yesterday, an indication of Scandinavian civic-mindedness, to be sure, but also an indicator of how mobilized the people were.

The new governing coalition has its work cut out for it. The first step to positive change was showing those responsible for Iceland's miserable condition the door. The next steps will involve firmly repudiating any vestige of neoliberal capitalism and resisting any effort from the US, IMF and other usurers to draw them back into the cycle of impoverishment that has sucked the life out of not only Iceland, but for the vast majority of us throughout the globe.

No comments:

Post a Comment