In the latest blog on next week’s Icelandic election, I take a look at the Left-Green Movement, a party that could become a coalition partner in the next government (or, depending on their vote share, actually form it).
In 2000, the left-wing of Icelandic politics underwent a significant change when four national parties (that were already in an alliance) decided to unify completely – forming the Social Democratic Alliance. This was the second attempt to do so, as it had been blocked the previous year by some representatives in the parliament who rejected the new party’s platform, which was to be inspired by Britain’s ‘New Labour’.
Before the merger took place, the representatives who objected broke away, forming the new ‘Left-Green Movement’, which remained loyal to democratic socialist values.
The party gained success from the start, gaining more than 9% of the vote and winning six seats in the Althing. Ten years later, the party entered a coalition government for the first time, led by the party it broke away from.
Today, the party has seven seats in parliament, after achieving 10.8% of the vote in 2013.
The Left-Green Movement believe in democratic socialism, green politics and feminism. The party also is strongly committed to pacifism and opposes Iceland’s membership of the NATO alliance.
- Action plan to increase public spending on healthcare to 11% of GDP by 2020
- Complete the construction of a new hospital campus, whilst improving the ambulance service across the whole country
- Increase number of nurses to meet demand and ensure older people can live in dignity
- Develop collaboration between health and welfare services
- Make Iceland carbon neutral by 2050 and promote on the world stage efforts to keep global warming below 1.5C
- Make concerted efforts to reduce plastic in packaging and increase recycling
- Ensure environmental protections in the Constitution – putting natural resources in public ownership
Economy and taxation
- Prohibit or severely limit the exploitation of offshore companies in tax havens to crack down on tax avoidance
- Implement an incremental tax system, with an emphasis on increased contributions from the wealthy
- Implement a comprehensive program of green taxes and green tax incentives, including an additional carbon tax
- Create a national social housing bank, which guarantees loans for housing throughout the country
- Guarantee equal opportunities for all in the working world
- Ensure commercial opportunities do not deplete natural resources for future generations
- Work to eliminate the gender wage gap, and shorten the working week without the reduction of wages
- Eradicate gender violence in cooperation with state and local authorities
- Ensure education in gender studies and equality at all levels
- Implement ‘ambitious’ legislation to greater support the rights of trans and intersex people
- Provide loans for housing for all age groups, and aim to keep housing costs below one-quarter of a citizen’s disposable income
- Subsidise psychiatric services to ensure such services in secondary schools
- Make providing high-speed internet a priority
Tomorrow, there will be a break from Icelandic politics to briefly cover (you guessed it!) the American election. On Thursday, we will take a look at the policies of the new ‘Revival’ party, which could win eight seats in the election, despite only forming earlier this year.