The first pirate politician in power

Birgitta Jonsdottir is leader of Iceland's Pirate Party, which has just been asked to form a government. BBC Future Now met her to see what the activist-turned-politician has planned

In Aldous Huxley's 1931 novel Brave New World, a dystopian future government metes out special punishment for dissidents: they are banished to Iceland.

But as the Resident World Controller of Western Europe notes, the punishment is really a reward.

Dissidents are being sent to a place where everyone sick of orthodoxy gets to have independent ideas of their own.

It's an attitude that Birgitta Jonsdottir, the leader of Iceland's Pirate Party, has channelled herself.

"Time for a gathering soon in Iceland of all the people who, for one reason or another, have got too self-consciously individual to fit into community life," she wrote in a blog post in 2011.

The next year Jonsdottir - who has described herself as an anarchist "poetician" - co-founded a political party with a handful of internet activists.

Now those self-conscious individuals have burst into the mainstream. In October, the Pirate Party came third in Iceland's national election, winning 10 seats out of 63 and more than tripling its number of MPs.

Last week Iceland's president asked Jonsdottir to form a new coalition government.

If she can pull it off, the country will be governed by the pirates and four other parties - including one led by a local rock star.

At a time when millions around the world are looking to populist politicians for solutions to their problems, many Icelandic voters have rallied around a radical, technology-focused left-wing party that champions political transparency, free health care and new measures to protect digital privacy.

Some question the pirates' ability to govern, given their lack of political experience and origins in activism.

So what exactly is the Pirate Party promising Iceland? And what does the anarchist-turned-politician Jonsdottir believe in?

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