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Election of representatives to the Alþing (transcribed Althing), the parliament, will take place in the spring of 2007. As of late summer 2006, after municipal elections in May 2006, the forthcoming parliamentary elections are starting to colour the poltical discourse. The right-wing centre party now in the leading role in the majority coalition government, did well in the municipal elections, notably in the capital Reykjavik. Reykjavik has more than a third of the counry's population of 300 000. They had been in opposition there for twelve years, and "many" felt the need for "a change". The same might possibly hold true for the parliament as well, where the conservatives have been in power for an even longer period.
Current (2006) government coalition parties
- Sjálfstæðisflokkur - The independece party (conservative) is the country's largest party.
- Framsóknarflokkur - The progress party (right-centre). Small, but influential
Together they have a narrow but largely secure majority in the parliament.
Opposition parties are, by a slight simplification :
- Samfylkinginn ( social democrat )
- Vinstri-hreyfinginn grænt framboð ( Left environmentalist) Equal oppurtunities / feminist perspectives have recently been added as core themes for the party.
- Frjálslyndi flokkurinn ( Right-centre ) Environmentally concerned, sternly against the current fishing quota system.
- Financial stability. Iceland has recently had high inflation (possibly temporary) after years of economic stability. Partly blamed on an overheating of the economy by large scale heavy industry related construcion in a small economy
- Distribution of wealth, tariffs, the pensions to the old and disabled.
- Health service expenditures, efficiency of health sector, quality of service, equity v.s. privatisation, privatisation of operations versus claims of improved efficiency
- Privatisation of banks, telecom and more
- Strong financial and political support for foreign heavy industry investment threatening Kyoto protocol obligations. Controversial hydroelectric dams and geothernal development to power heavy industry versus focusing on high tech and knowledge.
- Foreign policy and especially the relation to the USA, now that the military base is being dismantled. Iceland as a candidate to the UN security council. The opposition holds that Iceland has no place there unless running an independent foreign policy
- Transport : Tunnels to somewhat isolated coastal communities, on the mainland and on the Westman Island. The moving of the inland Airport in Reykjavík city centre.
- Fisheries policies ( still accounts for about 50% of exports). Resource management, distribution and selling of quota, the gradual shift away from local communty based fishing, in part related to to quota being subject to capitalist enterprise markets.
- Environmental concerns : Heavy industries, national parks, positive and negativer aspects both ways in relation to increasing tourism and exports of "clean and pure" foods etc, pollution and congestion from urban transport, health effects
- The relation of Iceland to the European Free Trade Association ( member along with Norway and Liechtenstein) versus the European Union.
- The possibility of binding to the Euro or replacing the Icelandic krona (ISK) bu the Euuro (EUR)
- Centralisation versus distribution of population and national services/agencies in the country. The surge towards the capital area and the surrounding "collar".
- Official language(s): Icelandic
- Widely understood language(s): English, Danish / Scandinavian. English has a stronger standing among the young, Danish among the older half of the population.
- Primary minority language(s): Polish, Vietnamese, Scandinavian, English
Icelandic language edition of campaigns.wikia.comEdit
If there is sufficient interest amongst editors that want an Icelandic language edition, the group of editors are encouraged to apply for the creation of such an edition.