To Trust or Distrust?

   Apr 24, 2024     2 min read

Last week, the parliamentary groups of the Pirates and the People’s Party tabled a motion of no confidence in Bjarni Benediktsson’s government, about a quarter after the ink had dried on the new government agreement. Political speculators have found this no-confidence motion rather ridiculous since it was obvious that no governing parliamentarian would vote for the motion.

This is an understandable interpretation by these blessed speculators who have generally only pondered old politics. You know, the scheming and twisting. The purpose of this no-confidence motion was not to try to get some government parliamentarians who were outspoken in their criticism of the former food minister’s official acts to stand by their big words by pressing the green voting button inside the parliament, but on the contrary, to get the government parliamentarians to affirm that they trust the prime minister.

It’s important to remember that this distrust was presented amidst a petition signed by people who distrust the prime minister. About 42,000 people signed such a petition with electronically verified methods - which I’m not sure people realize how difficult it has been to accomplish. The no-confidence motion was therefore presented as an opportunity for government parliamentarians to look voters in the eye and say, to paraphrase freely: “it doesn’t matter how many signatures you gather, we trust ourselves to do good no matter what you say. We trust Bjarni Benediktsson so much that we choose him as our prime minister.”

Of course, it would have been very interesting if any government parliamentarian had abstained or voted for the no-confidence motion, but we did not expect that. That was also not the purpose of the motion. It simply needed to be recorded in the history books, in the documents of the parliament that can be referred to for all time, whom these government parliamentarians trust to act. A finance minister who had just resigned due to conflicts of interest when he sold his father a stake in a state bank in a closed auction and a foreign minister who appointed his former assistant to the highest office of the foreign service for many years. And those are just the deeds of recent months. The list of corruption cases from previous years is very long.

That’s why we Pirates say that it is not possible to work with the Independence Party. The corruption issues are predictable. Speculators label this stance of ours as “opportunistic politics” or “exclusionary politics,” but from our perspective, it is simply a decision based on evidence. We never exclude substantive discussions, of course not. But it is a matter of responsibility not to pave the way for corruption into power. That’s what the no-confidence motion was all about.