With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”
A sandy-haired 43-year-old, Mr. Gnarr is best known here for playing a television and film character named Georg Bjarnfredarson, a nasty, bald, middle-aged, Swedish-educated Marxist whose childhood was ruined by a militant feminist mother.
While his career may have given him visibility, few here doubt what actually propelled him into office. “It’s a protest vote,” said Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political science professor at the University of Iceland.
In one of the first signs of Europe’s financial troubles, Iceland’s banks crashed in 2008, plunging the country into crisis. In April, voters were further upset by a report that detailed extreme negligence, cronyism and incompetence at the highest levels of government. They were ready for someone, anyone, other than the usual suspects, Professor Kristinsson said.
“People know Jon Gnarr is a good comedian, but they don’t know anything about his politics,” he said. “And even as a comedian, you never know if he’s serious or if he’s joking.”
But as Mr. Gnarr settles into the mayor’s office, he does not seem to be kidding at all.
The Best Party, whose members include a who’s who of Iceland’s punk rock scene, formed a coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (despite Mr. Gnarr’s suspicion that party leaders had assigned an underling to watch “The Wire” and take notes).
Ok., so this article is from June 25, but it’s probably still news to most people who aren’t riveted to Iceland’s political scene i.e. pretty much everyone in the world.
In case you missed it, this man would only form a coalition government with people who had seen all 5 seasons of The Wire!
I think I might need to go work for this man.