To American ears, the Pirate Party sounds like a joke, like all those people who vote for “Mickey Mouse” or “Deez Nutz” in U.S elections. It brings to mind the the idea of candidates dressing up in tricorner hats and eye patches and saying “Arrrr” a lot. But the Pirate Party is very real, it’s a growing international movement, and in its native Scandinavia, it is starting to exert real electoral power. On October 29th, the Pirate Party — which had been leading in the polls all summer – won ten seats in the Icelandic Parliament, tying them with the Left-Green movement and denying the center-right Independence Party, a clear majority. The Left-Green Movement and the Pirates overwhelmed 2013’s upstart political movement, the Progressive Party, which lost most of the seats they gained in that year’s elections. Joining us in the studio to explain more about the Pirate philosophy and their remarkable success is native Icelander and University of Wisconsin Department of Sociology PhD candidate Kristinn Már Ársælsson.
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