Bloggfćrslur mánađarins, apríl 2009

A Better Idea

There is no need for Guđlaugur Ţór Ţórđarson to work at regaining the people's trust.  He just needs to do the honorable thing and resign.  How important do these politicians think they are that instead of just quitting the job they are no good at doing, they feel the need to hang on at the expense of their party and the nation?  Guđlaugur, you tried politics and you failed. Now move on please  for everyone's sake. And on the way out try and take Ţorgerđur and Árni with you.

GTB Vill vinna traust á ný
Tilkynna um óviđeigandi tengingu viđ frétt

Conspiracy Theorist

Árni Johnsen, covicted felon, and member of the Althing (I know, I know)  complained today that there is an organized movement within his own party that struck his name off the ballot list is the previous elections.  He especially points to Sjálfstćđismenn is Árborg for leading the offensive. 

Árni appears to be clueless as to why members of the district he represents would not want him back into the Althing.  Could it be for stealing from taxpayers or trying to cover up the theft? Perhaps it is the way he said he was compensating himself for his "work" or the actual conviction and two years in prison? Or maybe it was the way he got a pardon from his own party without ever apologizing for his actions? ( The apology, by the way, would require Árni feel some sort of shame and I have already said in a previous blog there is a serious shortage of that kind of feeling among Icelandic politicians)

No, Árni seems to think it is all personal and  even wants to have the law changed to stop such dishonest actions from voters. I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

Árni is the biggest clown in the circus called government.  Although he certainly should never have been allowed to hold public office again it is almost worth keeping him around purely for the entertainment value.

GTB Árni Johnsen segir skipulega unniđ gegn sér
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You Reap What You Sow

There was a real chance that Árni Johnsen would not make it into the Althing this time.  17% of the people who voted for the Sjáfstćdisflokkurinn list crossed his name off. But he only dropped down one seat so he is still in.  Árni has repeatedly  been the top person to have his name crossed off since returning to politics in 2006 following his conviction AND PRISON SENTENCE for corruption, fraud and embezzlement.  A great summary of what Árni did can be read in English here-

The best part of Árni's story is not his conviction (although it is quite a good story) but how he was pardoned for his crimes by his own party.  Apparently the President of Iceland is the only one who can pardon an individual but (get this!) when the President is outside the country (as he was in August 2006) the Prime Minister (from Sjáfstćđisflokkurinn) et al. assume his power and guess who they decided to pardon?  You guessed it.  For along time Sjáfstćđisflokkurinn got away with many corrupt and questionable moves like the pardon of Árni Johnsen and yesterday they finally paid the price.  What else could they have expected than what they deserved.  As the saying goes- "You reap what you sow."

GTB Árni Johnsen niđur um ţingsćti
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Time to Get This Settled

Now with the elections over, one more obstacle stands in the way of Icelanders on their way out of the crisis.   Whether or not to join the European Union.  The issue has become a hot one before the elections and there seems no chance of it dissipating until the Icelanders finally see the pros and cons of joining.  Vinstri Grćn has a duty, if they are going to stay in the majority, to pursue an offer with Samfylkingin from the European Union on what it is on the table if Iceland is to join.   This is absolutely necessary if the Icelanders are to stop arguing about going in or staying out and end the discussion with a referendum vote.  And there can be no referendum vote without knowing EXACTLY what is being offered from the EU.  Vinstri Grćn has no right to stand in the way of the nation's right to know these details just as Samfylkingin has voter mandate (with less than 30% of the vote) to force Iceland into joining. This is a matter that WILL ultimately be decided by the Icelandic people and not the Icelandic politicians and that  gives comfort that the outcome will be not only just but also right.

GTB Stranda ekki á Evrópumálum
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There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. - General Smedley Darlington Butler

It Could Be Called "The Torture Approval Test"

People who have the authority to approve interrogation methods that could be viewed as torture should first have to be subjected to the method themselves before it can be used.  Better yet, try the method out on one of their loved ones and let them watch.  How many people would have approved waterboarding if this was the test applied for it's authorization?  I  know (or hope?) the answer would be none.  I do confess though that I would probably enjoy seeing Dick(head) Cheney being waterboarded. But then again he is not a loved one.

 GTB Rice samţykkti vatnspyntingar
Tilkynna um óviđeigandi tengingu viđ frétt

How to Lose an Election 101

Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, Minister for the Environment, and member of the Vintri Grćn (Left Green) Party will now be used in all Icelandic political science classes as a classic example  on how to ruin a party's chances of winning an election.  With just two days left to the big day, Kolbrún comes out against drilling for oil in the so-called Dreka  Area. This is just plain stupid. In this time of crisis people are thinking about jobs and how they are going to support their families and pay for their houses, not about offshore drilling!  This election period is turning into amateur night for some politicians. Hopefully they will do better in the Althing but with remarks like Kolbrún's, some will not make it that far.

GTB VG gegn olíuleit á Drekasvćđi
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Waste of Time

Samfylking and VG are more than welcome to go enter into negotiations with the European Union.  The final decision to enter the Union will be with the Icelandic people by a referendum vote..  It might be interesting to see what will be offered to Iceland in terms of farming and natural resources.  But one thing is certain.  The European Union has never and will never allow concessions for the fishing industry of any member state. Doing so for Iceland would cause a political maestrom in the Union as the nations that gave up their fishing rights will want the same deal as Iceland.  That is just not going to happen. Period.  End of discussion.  And the Icelanders will never, in a million years, give up their sole right to the Icelandic fishing grounds.  So the politicians can go and have their meetings, but the most important issue is already non-negotiable.

GTB Til Evrópu međ VG
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Guilty By Association

Sjálfstćđisflokkurinn is learning a new lesson in politics this week.  The party system that is used in Iceland to elect members to the Althing is a two sided coin.  Not only do the members as a whole stand for the party platform but they also must answer as a whole for the party mistakes.  Such is the "team" mentality that rules much of the Icelandic political scene.

A politician, and in Iceland's case, a political party, must always remember to do two things if they are to avoid a fall due to corruption.  First they must avoid impropriety. And, more importantly, they must avoid the appearance of impropriety.  In the case of the FL Group and Landsbanki political contributions, Sjálfstćđisflokkurinn has failed miserably to avoid either.  And it makes no difference who made the mistake because, as they say in English, there is no "i" in team.  The impropriety of a few is seen as the impropriety of the entire party.

The issue most troubling about the whole affair is not the contributions themselves.  The contributions almost seem expected from a party that has held power for so long, most definitely too long. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, to use another good English saying. No, the most troubling issue is that lack of utter outrage from within the current party leaders.  Hey Sjálfstćđismenn, some unscrupulous members of your party, believe it or not, just screwed you and your chances of getting any decent percentage in the next election by complete and utter disregard for ethical behaviour! And what do you have to say about it? "A clear mistake"? "We will pay back this money"?This is something a kid who gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar says. This is not what a politican who wants to distance himself from the crisis or position himself above the fray says.  

Sjáfstćdisflokkurinn is in trouble because of these political contributions.  If Bjarni Benediktsson is going to convince the voters that he and his party can be somehow trusted he and the other party members have to express their disgust and dismay with the unethical behaviour of the other members of their party.  Unless they want be seen as a  being part of them.

GTB „Augljós mistök“
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Two Questions

It has been revealed that FL Group gave a 30 million kronur politcal contibution to Sjáfstćđisflokkurinn in December 2006. Here are two questions that really need to asked and answered-

1. Why did it take over 2 years for ANYONE to report that FL Group gave a 30 million kronur contribution to Sjáfstćđisflokkurinn? 

2. If Iceland were not in a kreppa (crisis) now and Sjálfstćđisflokkurinn were still in power would this donation EVER have be reported?

Answering these two simple questions will reveal alot about the corruption in businesses, politics, and especially the media.

GTB 30 milljóna styrkur
Tilkynna um óviđeigandi tengingu viđ frétt

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