Iceland votes for public Constitution
REYKJAVIK - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoIcelanders have voted in a consultative referendum on what has been dubbed the world’s first “crowd sourced Constitution,” but turnout was sluggish amid fears politicians would ignore the results.
The new basic law was drafted by 25 ordinary citizens and includes proposals made on Twitter and Facebook. On Oct. 20, voters answered six questions on topics such as the role of the country’s natural resources and of the national church with a simple yes or no.
The six questions on the ballot were chosen by a committee of 25 ordinary citizens elected in 2010 to review the country’s Constitution. They in turn took to the Internet to solicit the views of their fellow Icelanders. Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008 during the global economic crisis provoked huge social movements and the demand that any new Constitution be drawn up by ordinary citizens became irresistible.
From April to July 2011 a popularly elected 25-strong group, drawn from different backgrounds, worked on a Constitutional project and then put it online so people could contribute their ideas. The draft legislation for a new Constitution was submitted to the country’s Parliament at the end of July 2011.