Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Why can't we have Pirates?
Iceland is also having an election. Currently the leading party is the Pirate Party. Why can't we have Pirates? The nation started by freaking Vikings gets to have Pirates. The US certainly can't claim to be number one anymore.
It's a real thing. The Icelandic Pirate Party is only about four years old and is currently leading in the polls. The more traditional political parties in Iceland have lost popularity due to the handling of the economy plus some scandals. Voters want something different.
Voters in the US wanted something different too. Unfortunately, we don't have anything as cool as a Pirate Party. Instead we have the same old Republicans and Democrats -two sides of the same coin. Sure, we've some third parties getting a bit of press, but they really aren't threats to the status quo.
Our third party candidates are getting some traction this year, but mostly as protest votes. Yes, I'm generalizing here, but elections are a game of numbers. The Libertarians are like trying to herd cats, but that's the nature of a party based on individualism. The Greens have yet to build any sort of grassroots base. Even the Libertarians have people running for things like school boards and state representatives. You don't start at the top.
No matter who wins next month, there's going to be a lot of disappointed people. There will be those who lost the election, of course, but that's just the beginning. I seriously doubt either candidate will be able to deliver on their promises. Before long those who voted for the winner will be disillusioned.
Trump supporters have a lot more on the line than Hillery supporters. Nobody expects real change from Hillery. If they do they haven't been paying attention. Most people who will vote for her have fairly low expectations. There are true believers, but they are kinda embarrassing.
Should Trump win, expectations will be high. However, outsiders don't have that great a record for getting things done. A president is not a dictator. Working with Congress is required to get anything major done, plus it has to pass muster at the Supreme Court. A Trump presidency stands a good chance of being hamstrung by Congress and the bureaucracy.
Iceland's Pirate has come almost out of nowhere. I've no idea if they'll be any good or not. Iceland's a tiny country but they could be a good test bed for new ideas. They are worth watching to see how they do.
At least they have a cool name. If that sounds silly to you just remember that in the US we once had the Bull Moose Party. Okay, it was really called the Progressive Party, so that's another disappointment.
2016 is shaping up to be a weird political year all over the world.