Sunday, 10 May 2009

Iceland elections: women elected to clean up the mess

As someone with a bit of an Iceland fetish, I must apologise for being slow to post on the victory of the Social Democrats in the recent Iceland elections. The result of the elections is that Johanna Sigurdottir, who had been prime minister in an acting capacity since the previous government collapsed in January, was elected prime minister.

Sigurdottir is the world's first openly gay leader and a former air hostess and union organiser.
These elections are also historic in the sense that 27 out of 63 MPs in parliament are women (i.e. 43 percent), which is a higher percentage than ever before.
Icelanders made it clear at the polls on the weekend that they perceived their predominantly male politicians and bankers as part of the problem, and that it may be women - and the way they do politics and business - who need to be given a chance to tidy up the mess.
The election was basically won on a commitment to join the EU asap, however, the Left Greens who are the coalition partner are essentially eurosceptic and there remains much anxiety over fishing grounds and the possible impact of EU membership on this. Obviously big challenges lie ahead for the new PM.
GDP is likely to shrink by 10% this year. Half the country’s businesses are technically insolvent; some 15% of Icelanders are in negative equity. More foreclosures look inevitable; the three big banks are unlikely to survive in their current form.
More here.
And here.
And here.

1 comment:

Fact Finder said...

Oh for goodness sakes, the results were not because they distrusted men - it was because they had a financial meltdown, caused by male and female bankers!

Facts please! There are also a healthy number of female venture capitalists and bankers in Iceland, disproportionate to the same industry in the City of London.