Monday, April 27, 2009

Green Left coalition elected in Iceland

When the rightwing government stood down in January amid massive protests the social democrats and the green left formed a caretaker government. This weekend new elections confirmed the green left coalition as the ruling government.

As you can see below the Left Green Movement won 21.7% of vote almost doubling their representation and the Socialist Democrats 29.8% also made slight gains at the expense of the rightwing Independence Party.

Parties Votes % +/−% Seats +/−

Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) 55,758 29.8 +3.0 20 +2

Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) 44,369 23.7 −12.9 16 −9

Left-Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin – grænt framboð) 40,580 21.7 +7.4 14 +5

Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn) 27,699 14.8 +3.1 9 +2

Citizens' Movement (Borgarahreyfingin) 13,519 7.2 +7.2 4 +4

Liberal Party (Frjálslyndi flokkurinn) 4,148 2.2 −5.1 0 −4

Democracy Movement (Lýðræðishreyfingin) 1,107 0.6 +0.6 0
Cambridge's first ever Green Party councillor Margaret Wright was on the scene and she had this to say;
"Its cold here in Reykjavic today but there is an air of celebration for the Greens who have fulfilled expectations by greatly improving their number of MPs in the new parliament.

"Having been all over Europe to meet and work with Green parties, I have no doubt that the only difference between Green success at parliamentary level in say Germany or Iceland, compared to at Westminster elections, is proportional representation. Our colleagues in Iceland and across Europe don't understand how the first past the post system can still be used, delivering distorted majorities and blocking smaller, but popular parties.

"The result here is historic, but also clearly a major reaction to the economic crisis which has impacted on Iceland as much as anywhere. There is widespread anger at the behaviour of the conservatives who allowed the crash and the financiers who caused the crash - resulting in the collapse of the financial system. Globalisation, of which Labour in the UK said there was no alternative, has failed, and exposed everyone to a more uncertain economic future. The Greens offer hope and a fresh way forward, and that has been rewarded in Iceland today."
But whilst this is, absolutely, good news the proof of the pudding is in the eating and the new government now has to show what a left leaning government can do to protect the people in this harsh economic climate.

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