Riding a wave of anger over perceived corruption among Iceland's political elite -- the so-called Pirate party is doing well in the polls ahead Saturday's general election. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Riding a wave of anger over perceived corruption among Iceland's political elite -- the so-called Pirate party is doing well in the polls ahead Saturday's general election. The Pirate party promises to clean up corruption, grant asylum to Edward Snowden and accept the bitcoin virtual currency. Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson at the University of Iceland. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT UNIVERSITY OF ICELAND, GUNNAR HELGI KRISTINSSON, SAYING: "What's different in the present election is the paradox. On the one hand you have the Pirate Party which seems to be heading for a great election with around 20 percent of the votes, aiming at radical system change, but if you ask the voters about their interest in the election, it's pretty mundane. It's the health system, it's the lot of the elderly and the disabled and housing. So the paradox is that the loss of confidence in the traditional political forces has opened the way for pretty unconventional parties whereas the voters seem interested in pretty much the same things that they are always interested in." The election was called for after the last prime minister of the center-right Progressive Party resigned in the aftermath of the so-called Panama Papers. Mainstream parties point to their own success in rescuing the economy, and criticize the Pirates' lack of policy detail. Opinion polls, show the center-right Independence party getting 25.1 percent of the vote and the Pirate Party 20.3.