Under the volcano

Icelandic politics is interesting these days:

Iceland’s Best Party, founded in December by a comedian, Jon Gnarr, to satirize his country’s political system, ran a campaign that was one big joke. Or was it?

Last month, in the depressed aftermath of the country’s financial collapse, the Best Party emerged as the biggest winner in Reykjavik’s elections, with 34.7 percent of the vote, and Mr. Gnarr — who also promised a classroom of kindergartners he would build a Disneyland at the airport — is now the fourth mayor in four years of a city that is home to more than a third of the island’s 320,000 people.

In his acceptance speech he tried to calm the fears of the other 65.3 percent. “No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.”

With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire”.

(bold mine)

I like the stuff about the Best Party not the Worst Party too. It reminds me of my all-time favorite Talking Points Memo post, about a Fred Barnes’ profile of Jeb Bush:

Barnes: Why is Jeb Bush the best? It’s very simple. His record is the best. No other governor, Republican or Democrat, comes close.

Josh Marshall: Why is Jeb the best? Because he is the best! No one rocks as hard as Jeb, bitch!

18 replies
  1. 1
    mistermix says:

    Isn’t it just obvious that the Best Party would require seeing all five seasons of the Best Television Series?

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    Kind of mean of this guy to make promises to kindergartners like that.

    Fred Barnes sounds like the troll who was defending Olympia Snowe on GOS last night. Maybe they are one and the same.

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    I love Iceland – at least the sagas, anyway. Hope to visit someday.

    So, how is this any different than Schwarzegger as Governor of California or Franken as Senator from MN? Or Bloomberg as mayor of NYC, for that matter?


  4. 4
    beltane says:

    @JGabriel: And Ronald Reagan. Don’t forget him.

  5. 5
    Brian J says:


    That was my favorite detail, too.

  6. 6
    Brian J says:


    It’s not entirely clear he campaign with the hope of actually winning. Whether or not that is true, he appears to be taking the job seriously, and what else can we ask for?

  7. 7
    malraux says:

    @JGabriel: Franken has always struck me as a comedian who was also a policy wonk on the side.

  8. 8
    Quiddity says:


    You best watch that your snarky reference to Fred Barnes doesn’t get you in trouble!

  9. 9

    They’ve got a better record than the Silly Party.

  10. 10
    hilzoy fangirl says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    Actually, I believe the SP leader has been put in charge of the Ministry of Silly Walks.

  11. 11
    Danton says:

    There are comedians in Iceland?

  12. 12
    Kevin Phillips Bong says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: I found my former party’s platform too extreme.

  13. 13
    mclaren says:

    Considering how well Al Franken has been doing, maybe we should require all politicians to be comedians.

  14. 14
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Makes sense to me–my best fried is Icelandic, and he’s the one who put me up on The Wire in the first place.

  15. 15
    Daddy-O says:

    A comedian running for office? BRILLIANT!

    When do we draft Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert? When? When?

  16. 16
    jethro says:

    Reminds me of Fafblog. This is a good blog. This is the best blog. This is the fafblog.

  17. 17

    gnarr would be well served to consult with bjork, as the icelandic standing army, and learn the meaning of “possibly maybe”

  18. 18
    DaveInOz says:

    ‘The Bugle’ podcast had the Best Party story a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t heard it, subscribe

    It’s by John Oliver of Daily Show fame and Andy Zalzman and a natural fit for BJers with a similar level of snark.

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