Icelandic Citizens Support Crowdsourced Constitution

from the good-for-them dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about plans by Iceland to crowdsource its new Constitution, and over the weekend, residents in Iceland voted (overwhelmingly) to say that they were pleased with the result. Nearly half of Iceland’s eligible voters participated, with 66% voting in favor of the new Constitution — which was put together by a 25-person committee, but which made extensive use of social media and other means to crowdsource input. There are a lot of really interesting things related to the internet and internet freedom happening in Iceland these days, and countries that ignore what’s happening there do so at their own peril.

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Comments on “Icelandic Citizens Support Crowdsourced Constitution”

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E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Our Turn

Personally, I would rather the US adhere to its Constitution. It is simple, to the point and leaves a lot of room for individual liberty. Unfortunately, the last 100 years or so have seen the Constitution being thrown out by the people.

That said, I would love to have a new Constitution written in this fashion for Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s Constitution is the longest in the nation and is filled with a bunch of crap that shouldn’t even be there.

Anonymous Coward says:

the constitution was not ‘crowdsourced’, it was put together by a committee of 25 people, not the ‘crowd’.

and “almost half” of people able to vote actully voting, then only just over half agreeing with it it not a very good result.

all that has happend is what normally happens, a committee draws up a constitution, and the people vote on it..

crowd sourced would mean the citizens of the country drafted the constitution, then ratified it by vote.

itsa terrible says:

Re: Re: Re:

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 can 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 wouldn’t it.
Its a constitution that results in Iceland losing its sovereignty.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Interesting way to interpret the turnout. The way I read it was as follows:

50% of the people cared enough one way or another to go out and make their voices heard. Of those 50%, 66% were emphatically in support of the new constitution. This means that 35% were all for it, 15% were completely against it, and 50% were indifferent.

Being indifferent does not mean opposed to the concept. It just means that they would be content either way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, but the difference is nobody considered the winning President to have won by an overwhelming majority.

In the case of referendums, the non-participation rate is a good indication of people who don’t care, aren’t interested, or who realize that there isn’t enough general interest for their vote (for or against) to really matter.

Generally, people who turn out in a low vote count referendum are “for”, they are the ones motivated to make the change. It’s only when the opposite side (against) mounts a significant campaign that you actually get some action.

33% voter approval ain’t really much.

In the US, the electoral college means that many people in states that are heavily red or blue generally don’t turn out. They know that their votes in the Presidential election don’t count for much.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I have a family member that does not vote because she can’t afford to get called up for jury duty, missing work in the process, as it has happened in the past the few times she did vote. You can’t say people vote or do not vote just because they are for or against something. Real world decisions are a bit more complicated than that.

itsa terrible says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Jury duty
is the only nail in the government coffin we have. vote not guilty for most. empty the jails. If they can’t prosecute dope smokers…or any other people for minor, made up crimes. Here is one. Cigarettes are natural and can’t be regulated, ah duh, full of toxic chemicals and kill millions each year. Dope totally a illegal… kills… 8 people a year only because they forgot about the cigarette they set down and then fell asleep.
They are screwed. Look around a little… a mother wouldn’t let a tsa agent touch her 14 yo daughters peach. she went to court and mom got punished. A jury could have said… hey government you over stepped your bounds. not guilty. The government says its the law so it is? that’s bullsh!t.
If she exercised her right to find people not guilty she would be able to afford a normal life.

Steve Buchok says:

Just because you don’t vote, doesn’t mean that you disagree with what is being voted on. 66% of the 100% of people that voted, voted in favour. That is 2 out of 3 people who voted were in favour.

From what I’m seeing in these comments, people seem to think that 100% of the people who didn’t vote were against it.

This is starting to sound like schrodinger’s vote.

PRMan (profile) says:

Statistics fail

With a representative sample of over 50%, one can safely assume that the rest of the population that didn’t vote would have also voted extremely close to 66% in favor as well.

Similarly with Obama, if 57% voted for in the last election of those who did turn out, very close to 57% would have voted for him if 100% turned out.

This is why people can survey 1000 people and get extremely accurate results.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Statistics fail

Not exactly true in the case of a referendum, especially on an issue that may not interest a significant part of the population.

For the most part, in a referendum on a subject few people are passionate about, you get a lower turnout, and the vast majority vote with the group. That is to say that if the idea is to approve of something (as opposed to trying to ban or shut something down), generally the people who turn up are those involved in the topic – the supporters.

So what happens is that slightly less than 50% of the people even bothered to vote. You cannot draw much conclusion from those who voted, as they are the ones most passionate about the issue. Those not passionate about the issue are generally less likely to support change.

It should be noted that two additional things play here: It’s not a binding vote, it doesn’t force anything to happen, and second, the government still has to address the issue themselves.

You can’t draw and statistical conclusions from those who voted, apathy usually means “no support”.

itsa terrible says:

According to Icelanders on other sites the vote was a series questions about what they wanted in the new constitution.
It was not a vote on the constitution. They had not seen any draft as yet.
Then, as always the the criminals (committee) took that as a opportunity and said that Icelanders had voted on the constitution.
The criminals knew that the people would never vote yes on the fully prepared and awful constitution they had ready to go.
The criminals then presented the new constitution to the other criminals (Government) to sign into law.

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