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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Iceland’s Pirate Party on Systemic Change in Developing Democracy

Rarely does systems theory become a political issue; instead, political parties and their respective candidates brandish policy positions geared to fixing particular issues (i.e., parts of systems). In Iceland, the Pirate Party proffered an exception leading up to the 2016 election. “We do not define ourselves as left or right but rather as a party that focuses on the systems,” said Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the party’s leader.[1] In other words, the party made the system itself the issue. “We stand for enacting changes that have to do with reforming the systems, rather than changing minor things that might easily be changed back,” she said.[2] Even if the minor things could not be easily changed back, I contend that fixing them is still sub-optimal when the systems of which they are part are warped, and thus deficient as wholes. Therefore, a political party’s emphasis on systems as themselves being in need of reform presents the world’s population with a practical way to redress systemic problems.

The full essay is at "Iceland's Pirate Party."

1. Kim Hjelmgaard, “Hacker-founded Pirate Party Could Win Iceland’s Election,” USA Today, October 28, 2016.
2. Ibid.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Wallonia Threatens to Veto the E.U.-Canada Trade Treaty: Complicating State Sovereignty in the E.U.

"The European Union and Canada signed a far-reaching trade agreement on [October 30, 2016] that commits them to opening their markets to greater competition, after overcoming a last-minute political obstacle that reflected the growing skepticism toward globalization in much of the developed world."[1] The obstacle may indeed have reflected increasing resistance at the time to globalization, but this veil can be pulled back to reveal the underlying political obstacle--that of states' rights in the E.U., taken to a crippling extreme.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.

1. James Kanter, "Canada and E.U. Sign Trade Deal, Bucking Resistance to Globalization," The New York Times, October 30, 2016.