This blogger read “Gnarr! How I Became Mayor of A Large City in Iceland and Changed the World” by Jon Gnarr, translated by Andrew Brown, published in 2014.
In 2009, the author co-founded the Best Party and in spring 2010, started running for mayor of Reykjavik. “Our campaign played out primarily on Facebook, YouTube and Blogspot.” He made a fool of himself because he had poor debating skills. He knew only how to mock other parties’ stupid slogans. Nevertheless, the city council elected him mayor.
The Best Party allied with the Social Democrats. As mayor, he was allowed use of a chauffeured car and a MacBook Pro with a fifteen-inch monitor, because he “… absolutely couldn’t cope with Windows.” He supervised eight thousand people, working for Iceland’s largest employer.
Iceland is a country with no military, and has no law enforcement officers who are armed. Regarding homosexuals, it is one of the most egalitarian nations in the world.
Gnarr is an idealist. He wrote, “I am an anarchist… If I actually believe in anything at all, it’s democracy… I believe in direct democracy.” In October 2011, Gnarr and his Party introduced participatory democracy over the World Wide Web. His administration allowed the general public to vote on urban construction and renovation projects. However, the pesky aspects of human nature– greed and power-hunger that spur lobbying and corruption– among other flaws, can diminish the beneficial effects of such an innovative political practice.
Read the book to learn more about Gnarr’s political philosophy.