With the Icelandic election now less than a week away, here is a closer look at Bright Future; one of the Independence Party‘s coalition partners until they quit last month, sparking fresh elections.
Bright Future is a centrist party formed in February 2012 by Óttarr Proppé, a member of satire party ‘Best Party’, to allow them to participate in the 2013 election. Best Party had received significant success as a result of a backlash against the main political parties, having been created in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. Best Party even won a plurality of seats in 2010 on the Reykjavik City Council, with policies such as bringing in a polar bear to the city zoo, free towels in all city swimming pools, and crack down on corruption by participating in it openly.
In the 2013 election, Bright Future came fifth – with six seats and over eight percent of the vote. However, the party was less successful in elections three years later, dipping to four seats with just over seven percent. Despite this, the party entered government for the first time, in a coalition with Independence and the Reform Party.
After the ‘restored honour’ scandal emerged over the summer recess this year, Bright Future left the coalition, claiming that the Independence Party had committed a ‘serious breach of trust’. Elections were called soon after.
In the run-up to this year’s election, Bright Future has performed terribly in polling – with some putting their support at only just over one percent – far below the five percent threshold required to enter parliament.
Proppé, the party’s leader and founder, is also a member of Icelandic rock band HAM and lead singer of rock cabaret band Dr. Spock. He featured in Iceland’s Eurovision entry in 2014, singing for the band Pollapönk. After making it to the final the contest, Iceland came 15th that year.
Bright Future is a pro-European party with a strong belief in social liberalism. They advocate diversity in all areas and believe in ‘responsible thinking’, particularly around the protection of natural resources.
- Make improvements to the health service by using the knowledge and experience of other professionals, such as nutritionists and physiotherapists
- Improve access to mental health services
- Establish a mortgage market with low long-term interest rates
- Make it easier for students to find housing
- Create a transport plan to improve maintenance of the transport system
- Join the European Union after achieving a good agreement and approval by public referendum
- Enter ERM II with the intention of joining the Eurozone
- Welcome more refugees and asylum seekers to Iceland
- Have Iceland win Eurovision
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with international commitments through sustainable utilisation of natural resources and renewable energy
Elderly and disabled
- Ensure that the social security system helps the most vulnerable in society
- Increase housing availability and roll out customisable personal assistance* nationwide
- *Customisable personal assistance was a program launched in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, where disabled and elderly people received payment instead of services, allowing greater choice over their own care)
- Create a new Constitution, making sure all changes are made in accordance with the will of the nation, as voted on in a referendum on constitutional change in 2012
Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at a party that might return to government after being punished in previous elections – the Social Democratic Alliance.