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Iceland's Pirate Party Could Make Major Gains In Parliament

In the year of Brexit and Donald Trump's nomination, it shouldn't be that surprising.

By Lauren Stephenson | October 24, 2016

In a political year like this one — with Donald Trump winning the Republican presidential nomination and the U.K. voting its way out of the EU — the possibility that Iceland's Pirate Party might win the upcoming national election shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

The party formed four years ago based on the Swedish Pirate Party's ideology, which wants information "to be free, not kept behind closed doors." Iceland's party has flourished in recent months, as more people have lost trust in mainstream politicians and now favor populism. Sound familiar?

SEE MORE: Icelanders Think Pirates Are Their Best Political Option Right Now

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The party currently holds three seats in Iceland's 63-member parliament. But a new poll projects Saturday's elections could swell the Pirates' ranks to 15 seats — basically putting them level with two other leading political parties.

The party's platform includes direct democracy, individual privacy, government transparency and freedom of expression.

Critics of the Pirates say direct democracy is much more difficult to implement in practice, and they wonder if a party win could lead to anarchy. 

As one politician told The Washington Post, "They know what they're against. But it's difficult to find out what they're really for."

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