I live in a small country. One of the smallest in the world I suppose. The inhabitants of this island are around 300.000 and that's clearly not a very large number.
In spite of the smallness we have four "large" political parties here. One of them is to the right, two are supposed to be in the middle and one is to the left.
It seems to me that from the beginning of adulthood, people place themselves somewhere in this group of four.
They decide who to follow and from then on there is no way back. It's "us" and "them". And the leader of the particular political party that they choose to follow becomes some kind of a guru. Everything that this particular person utters becomes "the truth" and everything that comes from the other parties is "bs". We have chosen a political soccer team and by that, simplified our lives to that extend.
And just like watching a game of soccer with shouting hooligans we can watch our politicians, standing there in parliament, trying to convince us about the quality of their ideas, but to me it has always seemed that most of the energy goes into badmouthing what "the other party" wants to say or do.
The primary purpose seems to be about winning followers and gaining power. Just like any cult.
After the crunch the left wing influence has grown remarkably. The right wing, or the Independence party, that has ruled the country for the past 18 years, get's the blame: "Under your ruling we got into this situation," people shout. But I must admit that I am rather lost in this. I don't honestly belive that it is their fault or in fact anyones fault. Just a complex chain of global events that lead to this downfall.
What is the situation in countries that have been ruled by left wing parties to this day? Or until the crunch? Is it any better? Does it make sense to blame the right wing policy or is the answer deeper? Do we possibly need to invent an completely fresh method of managing a country? A more active democracy, for example using the Internet as a tool to the means? How can we avoid corruption and minimize the effects of human defects?
Could this be possible here in Iceland? We are more like a clan of people than a nation.
The answer lies with a new party called the citizen movement or x-o. It's main goal is to get into parliament, only to make rules and changes that create a more active democratic participation from the common Jane and Joe and outrule a lot of the chances of corruption.
I hope that something good can come out of this. You would think that such a small clan should be able to create change, faster than a big one, but time will tell...
I'll keep you posted.