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Protesting politics, backrooms, corruption and petty rivalry

Pictures are at the bottom...

A councilman from a party with a solitary seat dissolved his party's coalition, that had a ~60% approval rating (far higher than the previous council) and formed a new coalition with the party that initially betrayed him. This formed a new coalition with an approval rating of ~24%, which dropped down to 16% over the next week. Childish power plays, with this lone councilman getting to be mayor, for a year, before handing it over to the original mayor, whose first coalition was dissolved over massive corruption selling off public companies to private investors, with the proceeds going to the councilman, not the city.

Dodgy. Very Dodgy. I protested. There's always been some decidedly dodgy politics in Iceland, as long as I've been here, but it goes with the wild west cowboy lifestyle and attitudes, so some level of it is to be expected. I heard about a rally at City Hall, and went to join in, even though I wasn't entirely sure what we were all doing. I felt proud that democracy was alive. This was on the day that the new mayor was being sworn in in front of the council, only three days after the impromptu press release and hissy fit that led to dissolving the prior coalition. This was not some protest rally planned months in advance, this was a spur of the moment, picking up pitchforks, honest to goodness protest. We are not amused.

By marching into city hall and protesting from the gallery during the ceremony, they postponed their meeting til we'd all been ushered out again. The new mayor, and his mayor in waiting, Villi V, decried this protest as despicable, and standing in the way of democracy. Those young people. (there were plenty of older people in the crowd, I was there, just that the younger people had the megaphones) We were soundly ignored, and calls for new elections to clear up this mess of having three ruling coalitions in not even two years have so far been soundly ignored by the now ruling coalition.

Villi V, Vilhjalmur Vilhjalmarsson, the original mayor, from the independence party is responsible for such gems as demanding that the ATVR stop selling beer in single units, as that was the cause of night time violence downtown. Icelandic law stipulates that beer can ONLY be sold in single units, as this discourages bulk buying and binging. This wild claim also ignores the fact that the bottle shop closes at 6pm, (7pm on fridays) and reports of violence on the streets at night tend to occur between 3 and 6am. Oh, as well as no more single units, he also wanted the ATVR to remove the fridge, where they kept some beer, white wine and champage cold. That was also encouraging drunken behaviour. A clever boy this one.