Elections In Iceland
22 Monday Apr 2013
Written by Mark in Icelandic
The Icelandic parliament is called the Alþingi, and dates back to the year 930, not long after the settling of Iceland. People met for two weeks in the summer at Þingvellir to settle disputes, hear the laws in effect at the time or adopt new laws. With parliamentary elections in Iceland coming up this week, I thought it might be nice to go over some vocabulary related to voting and elections, as well as look at the major parties running for seats in the legislature.
What would elections be without polls? You may see the following phrase every other day in the Icelandic news, with large swings in support among the major parties leading up to election day:
“Samkvæmt nýrri könnun…” – “According to a recent poll…”
Electorate-wise, Iceland is broken up into six geographical regions, or kjördæmi:
Southwest – includes Kópavogur and Hafnarfjörður
Northwest – includes Akranes and Ísafjörður
Northeast – includes Akureyri
South – includes Keflavík and Selfoss
An attempt is made to balance the number of representatives from each district so that the lesser populated regions of the country still have adequate representation in the Alþingi, which has a total of 63 seats.
|að kjósa – to elect, vote|
The conjugation of kjósa is irregular, similar to others with -jó- in the root like bjóða, sjóða and brjóta.
The word “party” in the political sense is flokkur – you will see this as part of several of the names of Icelandic political parties.
|flokkur (m) – group, party|
flokkur can also have the meaning of follower.
Here is a list of the main parties running for office in this election, along with the relevant vocabulary related to their names:
Framsóknarflokkurinn – The Progressive Party
Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn – The Independence Party
Landsbyggðarflokkurinn – The Provincial Party
Húmanistaflokkurinn – The Humanist Party
Flokkur heimilanna – Household Party
fram·sókn f (-ar) advance, progress sjálf·stæði n (-s) independence lands·byggð f (-ar) country, countryside heimili n (-s,-) home, household
Some colorful party names:
Hægri grænir – Right Green
Vinstri græn – Left-Green
Regnboginn – Rainbow
Björt framtíð – Bright Future
And a few more parties (there are many candidates this year):
Sturla Jónsson – Sturla Jonsson
Lýðræðisvaktin – Democracy Watch
Alþýðufylkingin – People’s Front of Iceland
Samfylkingin – Social Democratic Alliance
Dögun – Dawn
Píratar – Pirate
lýð·ræði n (-s) democracy vakt f (-ar,-ir) shift, watch al·þýð/a f (-u) the people (nation) fylking f (-ar,-ar) alliance, party dögun f (-ar) dawn, daybreak
Vocabulary related to voting and elections:
Al·þingi n (-s) Althing (parliament) kosning f (-ar,-ar) election kjör n (-s,-) election fram·boð n (-s,-) candidacy kjör·dæmi n (-s,-) constituency kjör·seð/ill m (-ils,-lar) ballot (paper) flokk/ur m (-s,-ar) party hreyfing f (-ar,-ar) movement þingmaður m (-manns,-menn) member of parliament skoðana/könnun f (-ar, kannanir) poll, survey kjós/andi m (-anda,-endur) voter at·kvæði n (-s,-) vote greiða atkvæði með + dative vote for something úr·slit n pl outcome, result embætti n (-s,-) position, office