When Citizens Elect Comedians Who Run For Office As A Joke...
from the the-system-at-work dept
However, what I didn't know was that on a much smaller scale this sort of scenario actually played out... in Reykjavik, Iceland, where "absurdist" comedian Jon Gnarr entered the 2010 mayoral race as a joke... and then won, after an absurdist campaign.
He's now been mayor for a year, and while he still does absurdist things (wearing a gorilla mask at the office, giving a speech while wearing lipstick) he's actually balanced the budget... and seen his ratings drop significantly. He also says that he has a lot more respect for politicians:
Whenever anyone else made a political promise, Gnarr made a bigger one. Gnarr proposed attracting tourists by leveraging the fame of Iceland's most famous citizen: The pop singer Bjork.
We should have this huge statue of Bjork at the harbor like the statue of liberty and instead of a torch she would be having a microphone and she would shout out some information about Reykjavik in three different languages and she would be revolving, you know? And also there would be lights. Her eyes would shoot lights on interesting tourist spots in Reykjavik.
When a candidate proposed building an entire amusement park, Gnarr went small.
"I promised to have a life size Mickey Mouse," he says. "We would be the only Disney World that had a life size Mickey Mouse."
When political events turned boring, Gnarr would walk out.
"I have realized that the politicians, or most of them, are not evil, stupid people like I thought they were."