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The Little Country that Could

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Corporations and online businesses, once thriving in the US because the US used to have the greatest amount of freedom of expression, have already begun to flee the country, taking their businesses with them, because of the threats of these CISPA types of legislation.

We, says Helgi, want to give these corporations safe haven in Iceland, and in return build thriving online businesses which will allow our economy to grow - exactly the opposite of what the US is doing.

The US has a war mentality where the ideas of information and freedom of information are now sold to the public as some kind of threat. There is always a bad guy, and Americans have to kill the bad guy. This fear based, contrived chaos is unique to the US. Americans are now told that freedom has somehow become a threat to National Security, and this is all based upon the old guard of politicians and lawmakers, having no understanding of what freedom of information can actually mean. This fear based, controlling way of governance brings forth laws like CISPA, which puts military control over the civilian population, and curtails true democracy.

It is not only the US who misunderstands and therefore threatens the freedoms of citizens. China censors their internet in the way the US wants to, in order to control the masses and give them the illusion that all is tranquil in China.

Saudi Arabia controls and censors their internet around sharia law and their ideas of "decency". A woman is not allowed to show her hair in public, certainly not on the internet. This is considered indecent. Lack of freedom of information to the Saudis allows  the government to control the masses and create the impression of political stability.

Iceland is very gadget savvy, says Helgi. We are very technologically advanced. We probably even have a world record, per capita, of facebook users and other online media users. Our people have been waiting for what the Pirate Party brings to this Parliament.

We want to make Iceland the Silicon Valley of the north. We want "dot com" privacy protection, and relaxed liable laws for data companies making Iceland an appealing place to store and use data. We want to ensure civil rights for online business.

We support and are fighting for the People's Constitution.

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We want strict regulation for our banking sector and believe it is critical that we know who now owns our banks.

We want separation of church and state.

We would like to decriminalize drug use - not drugs, but drug use - so that addiction can be treated as a medical condition and not a criminal offense. We have studied the Portuguese method where, for over 12 years Portugal has treated drug addiction as a medical condition and not a crime. Portugal has seen a 50% drop in violent and nonviolent crime across the board, directly as a result of this change.

The Pirate Party is drawing up legislation to strengthen gender equality. In Iceland this is very welcome legislation, as women and men have been seen as equal for a long time. New legislation would fine tune this aspect of society, ensuring wage equality and ways to decrease crimes against women.

Our prime minister is not only a woman, Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson explains, this is completely normal for us to have women in positions of power in our government. She is also married to a woman. Same gender marriage is completely legal in Iceland. Even in our state religion there are women Bishops and homosexual ministers. It is so normal here, that we really never think about it.

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I did not really want to go into Parliament, Helgi said. But this is an opportunity, and this needs to be done, and now I can help to do it. And within the Pirate Party, we stand for things that anyone can vote for. We have people from the right, left and center in their political views, who can see what we are accomplishing and are voting for our vision of direct democracy, transparency of government, and growth of international business.

The election for Icelandic Parliament is on Friday, April 27, 2013. The world is watching.


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Marianne Hoynes is a second generation social activist, a health care lobbyist on Capitol Hill on behalf of patients and doctors, and an independent journalist and fine artist. As a small child, Marianne followed in her Quaker pacifist tradition, (more...)

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The Little Country that Could


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Well-written, informative, INSPIRING!  Thank ... by William Bold on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 9:32:38 AM
Thanks Billy Bold!! This has been a really interes... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 5:58:51 AM
When I first tried to access this article Google i... by Ed Lytwak on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 2:19:59 PM
Once again, it ´s more than that (although it ´s... by Guglielmo Tell on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 5:47:25 PM
I got the red warning too. I sent its text to Mr. ... by Daniel Penisten on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 11:01:46 PM
glad it is resolved.... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 6:25:54 AM
Rob (the editor) is a rather fearless publisher. I... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 6:02:31 AM
OEN has been hacked at least half a dozen times. W... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 8:08:59 AM
We need a site like this where there are such wond... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 8:30:32 AM
Yes, I got this, too on one computer I use - and "... by William Bold on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 9:58:34 AM
This wee nation, this BIG little land, is leading ... by Daniel Penisten on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 11:00:07 PM
I have to answer this in a few replies, due to the... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 6:22:54 AM
"   its resistance to international banking i... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 6:24:19 AM
" warmth toward corporations." I think Iceland has... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 6:25:04 AM
Now where else would I find such an insightful art... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 8:41:19 AM
That is really nice of you to say, Susan. I was qu... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 3:00:59 PM
Sadly, if this came to be, then Iceland would need... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 9:20:21 AM
The US is actually the worst offender of this. All... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 5:05:44 PM
say that the above program transcends the  na... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 9:29:20 AM
there are many aspects of "National Identity", whi... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 9:41:16 AM
I for instance am Jewish but I do not recognize Zi... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 1:12:51 PM
hi Mark,I'd like to understand more what you are s... by Marianne Hoynes on Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013 at 5:07:15 PM