Iceland residents draft, approve of crowdsourced constitution

By on October 23, 2012, 6:30 PM

A year ago Iceland found themselves between a rock and a hard place. The country was in the middle of a crippling economic recession that sparked multiple protests from disgruntled citizens. Rather than try to sort out the mess on their own, government officials opted for a radical approach to solve the crisis: ask their citizens for help.

Icelanders were invited to help draft a new constitution using modern methods of communication. Petitions, letters and phone call requests were replaced with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Flickr.

More than 3,600 comments and 370 proposals were collected for the “crowdscourced constitution.” From there, a group of 25 constitutional council members combed over the ideas and suggestions before weaving it all into a single body of work.

Weekly meetings were streamed live on the council’s website and on Facebook. It was here that citizens could comment on topics, make their own suggestions and engage in healthy debates. Surprisingly enough, it all worked out in the end.

A vote held last weekend revealed that 66 percent of voters agreed to use the crowdsourced document as the foundation for the country’s new constitution. The new constitution will now be handed over to lawmakers and politicians for editing, polishing and a final review.

It’s entirely possible that the country’s parliament will toss out the document and create something on their own – likely to the dismay of many residents that have invested a lot of time and effort into the project. Either way, it will probably be said and done before the country’s next election scheduled for spring 2013.

User Comments: 9

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1 person liked this | Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Never happen in the United States. People are too fond of greed and taking advantage of others.

1 person liked this | lchu12 lchu12 said:

Never happen in the United States. People are too fond of greed and taking advantage of others.

Team America....F*** Yeah!

jizzyburnizzy said:

Wow! a government that actually listened to what the people want?

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I think there are a few reasons why this worked in Iceland and may not work as well in other places. Iceland as a country went bankrupt, so everyone was in it together. It has a population of 320,000 which is a equivalent to the population of St. Louis, MO. Most people are native Icelanders and it's a close knit country which makes it easier for agreements. So a small country where people are pulled together is far easier to do something like this than a country that has a wider range of ideas. It's great that they did this and hopefully it can be a model for future success.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Never happen in the United States. People are too fond of greed and taking advantage of others.

Right, because constitutions are supposed to instill good character qualities into its citizens. There's another word for "greed", and it's called "selfishness", and everyone struggles with it. Tell me, what kind of constitution, crowdsourced or otherwise, could possibly make ANYONE unselfish?

No, no. Trash the Constitution; it hasn't enhanced my integrity.

Guest said:

They completely threw away a chance to change the world.

How about these rules for the politicians.

Every candidate must submit to a drug test and be tested at random times during her/his time in office.

Is 4 times a year too much for representatives who.

With the stroke of a pen start wars or put the people into unplayable debt?

Every candidate must write down what he/she will and will not do while in office.

Any deviation from what they wrote and they are fired immediately.

Also the section on international law superseding Iceland's law!!

What if international law says you must bail out banks or no country can have a constitution!

It would make all this pretty pointless would it not.

Its a constitution that results in:

Iceland losing its sovereignty.

The people having no rights as all the rights stated are subject to what the government decides by changes in the law.

Cool thing thou the governments rights are not subject to any change in law.

TJGeezer said:

@Guest - I can't figure out if you're smoking something or just intentionally writing free-form political nonsense poetry. Anyway if the U.S. government followed what the majority of its people want, there'd be no war industry-driven Pentaloon wars in remote places at all. Think of all the useless Generals and Colonels, all the war industry engineers who would have work work on stupid projects like infrastructure improvement. It could drive the Cheneys of the world broke. Can't have that! /s

Guest said:

Dear tj guzzler

thanks for the intelligent response. You must have spent alot of time thinking very carefully about what I wrote. The whole being accountable when voted in thing was the subject. Sorta like when you are going for a job interview. They say how will you help our company, what skills do you have that make you stand out from the other 20 people I am going to interview today? Then I guess... you lie your ash off. When you run the fork lift off the end of the loading dock... you can't be fired. Because you had 100% of the eligible voters... the interviewer.

generals, colonels pantyraid ... thats funny

Guest said:

Them darn generals, colonels they are the problem. Not those pesky politicians, after all we didn't vote them in. I know what we should do. Lets tell our voted in politicians to sack their war mongering, trouble causing, money wasting, yes sir no sir ashes.

Oh........... the new politicians we elected in said they would stop all the wars. This is so sixties ... and 70s ok the last hundred years. Lets all give thanks to the fed ,,,,,225 million dead its ok we voted for it

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