Iceland (a.k.a. The Transparentest Place On Earth) Crowdsources Its New Constitution

from the totally-throwing-off-the-transparency-curve dept

We talk a lot about government transparency here at Techdirt. (We honestly do. Admittedly, the conversation tends to revolve around the lack thereof, but that's hardly our fault. We weren't the ones promising the most transparent government ever and then spending most of our time boarding up the windows and chanting "State Secret" over each piece of paper that crossed our collective desks. But I digress...)

Back to the point at hand: a transparent government. Ours may be struggling mightily with the ideal, but Iceland has one-upped every government in the world by crowdsourcing the writing of its new Constitution. Not only that, but it's embracing the crowd at all the popular hangouts, incuding Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, and it's streaming all of its meetings live.

Of course, opening up yourself to the "wisdom of the crowd" has its drawbacks, most them directly related to the "wisdom" of said crowd. Some bizarre advice has turned up on its Facebook page, but to its credit, the moderators are handling it with the tireless patience that Iceland will soon become famous for, if there's any justice in the world. Here's a sampling of some of the best/worst from their Facebook page.

Here's Joshua E.'s three-pronged platform:

Just read the full current draft, and had some thoughts: 1. I would suggest that under Education, a clause be instituted to allow children and their families to seek restitution from individual teachers upon improper teaching of personal views, 2. the amount of parliment needed for impeachment of the president be reduced to 2/3rds as to avoid blocking by a member of the president's own party, and 3. that a process be created by which the collected MPs may create amendments to the constitution
Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir (Iceland Facebook page admin):
the president in Iceland is not affiliated with any party so that's moot. The idea of amendments is not something we normally use here, we would rather have the whole document revisited, for example through constitutional assemblies every few decades. And for the first point, I would be hesitant to support such a document as I think it would support the development of a "sue the bastards" mentality we have not had so far. But thanks for your critical reading of the document and interest in the process.
 

Justin E. lays out some common sense:

Okay, here is a no-brainer. To keep special interests out of the government, you pay politicians at a flat rate, and do not allow them to accept monetary sponsorship from corporations.

Katrín Oddsdóttir (another admin):

Exactly what we're doing Justin ;)
 
Joe C. takes a swing at the "welfare state" and ends with a baffling plea to edit the Consitution and Bill of Rights:

If you write "rights" to the fruit of other peoples' labor into the Constitution, you will have set up this state for failure before it even started. Please copy the US constitution + bill of rights, remove the bad parts and clarify the liberty-damaging clauses.

Katrín Oddsdóttir:

If there is any place in the world where the constitution can promise social welfare to all, that would be Iceland which is very rich in resources and has only 320.000 people. So we have to go for the full force social and economic rights, in my opinion. We also have a very different legal system to the US so it's hard to compare how such constitution traditions would act out, on the Ice. Thanks for the comment Joe.
 

Justin L. is concerned with an inseparable church and state:

Having an Established Church as well as Religious Freedom seems a little counterintuitive.

Katrín Oddsdóttir:

This is a huge issue and no wonder you mention it. Iceland has had a national church for decades and very many people want a separation between the Church and the State. However, the current constitution demands a referendum should the state church be abolished and that is why our current draft has two options on the church. This essentially means that when (and if!) our new constitution goes to referendum, the people of Iceland can choose whether they want to mention the Established State Church in the future constitution or not.

 

And finally, Phil C. reminds us why we love/hate the internet -- semi-coherent, punctuation-less rants:

You people are crazy nuts You are abdicating your responsibility to your nation's people. guarantee all the "rights" you want to includingno-one needs to work the government will take care of everything cradle to grave a country of welfare is a country that cannot survive. You are ruining your country and setting the worst possible example
People will have no desire to contribute sweat equiity if the government pays all the bills. Have you thought of where you will get the money needed to support all of your welfare recipients once you guarantee they won't need to pay for any of there own needs?

Stjórnlagará:

Now now Philip. We are blessed with ample natural resources like hydro electricity, clean water, agriculture and sustainable fishing. Our healthcare and education system is the foundation of our future.

I would not go as far as to say that we are crazy nuts, but as a nation of viking seafarers we do like to go out on a limb sometimes.

It's true. Vikings are iconclastic ass-kickers and somewhat prone to rash action, hence Iceland's sudden drive to rebuild its constitution. (The still-in-progress full text is online both in English and in the original Icelandic.) All the push Iceland needed was a catastrophic collapse of the financial system. To say that this effort has struck a chord with people worldwide is an understatement. And while there's probably a million reasons this won't work, it might turn out to be a perfect fit for a country with the population of St. Louis, MO (approx. 319,000). If nothing else, it may inspire a bit more transparency worldwide, and that can't possibly be a bad thing.



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  1.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Very Cool

    I wish we'd revamp our constitution in the states.

     

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  2.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Now this has me thinking of what could happen if we could Wiki our own Constitution...

    That sounds like a good idea to start.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    every 5-10years the constitution should be rewritten

     

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  4.  
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    cjstg (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

    three words...

    cake and circuses

     

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  5.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    When you consider that the bill of rights was basically just a compilation of all things that the states saw the previous government doing and didn't like, this suggestion makes a lot of sense.

    We definitely need to add some new ones to the list.

     

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  6.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Quotes!

    So... quoting a Roman Senator about the 'wisdom of the crowd'?

    I'm certain the Senate had no self-interest in maintaining their positions of power... none at all.

    Why not quote the Federal Reserve about why 99.99 percent of people aren't wealthy while you're at it?

     

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    hegemon13, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Actually, those that you seem to think are baffling have hit the nail on the head. Ample resources or not, the moment you grant the government the right to plunder the fruits of it's citizens' labor, you are on your way to an authoritarian empire. It doesn't matter how much the public is involved in the Constitution if it hands unjust powers to the government. If the US Constitution has proven anything, it's that even the most extreme restrictions on government mean nothing if it's only a document. If the people do not constantly defend their liberty, government will trend toward authoritarianism. Iceland clearly has not learned from history, and they are setting themselves up for failure. After all, what do scarce resources matter if no incentive exists to use them productively?

     

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  8.  
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    Jon B. (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Very Cool

    I think the US constitution is a little unclear in areas (and kinda hard to read unless you read an annotated copy with the bits crossed out that were repealed over the years), but other than that needs to be left alone.

    I would, however, love to see the STATES wikify their constitutions.

     

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  9.  
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    hegemon13, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Very Cool

    Revamp it? How about we start by adhering to it? If we're not going to follow it, anyway, why bother rewriting it?

     

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    Britte S., Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    I'm not at all surprised that Iceland is taking this route. I'm excited to see how it all pans out.

     

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  11.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Very Cool

    Part of the problem is ambiguous language that people twist to suit whatever argument they happen to currently be making.

    The commerce clause was not intended for anywhere near the kind of crap the feds use it for today, for example.

     

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  12.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Very Cool

    The Bill of Rights needs some additions badly, especially regarding transparency of government and freedom of contract.

    I'd also argue that some other parts of the constitution regarding how the government is set up could be changed too, since parts of it were created to be practical in a time when technology and communication were limited (the electoral system being a good example).

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Re:

    I liked what you had to say, but how does one provide for the national defense if the government is not empowered to "plunder the fruits of it's citizens' labor" by taxing them?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re:

    The citizens should spend their money on purchasing mercenary contracts to protect themselves.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re:

    Good point. Resources - no matter how abundant they may be - are a limited good. If Iceland had a completely self-sustaining economy then they could manage those resources in a manner that would be the foundation of a stable society. Obviously that is not the case, otherwise their recent financial ruin would have never been an issue.

    Quite frankly, human nature is split into two extremes. Those who behave in the familiar live and let live mentality that the majority of us share, and then those who do not. The megalomaniacs, sociopaths, psychotics, and others who seek out the positions of power, and whom tend to run the world, fortune 500 companies, and any other institutions dictating your very way of life. You simply have the freedom to choose from the options they have provided for you.

    Allowing any government body to exploit the labor and resources of a country will only allow itself to be run by individuals seeking to exploit it for personal gain. Hail the U.S. Founding Fathers all you like, but their intentions were exactly that. The only politicians of the era were well-educated, and therefore quite wealthy, individuals who instituted policies to benefit their favor.

    The only difference between those days and now is every inch of this country is now federally mandated. People were able to move to different states and abide by different laws if they didn't like the way their local government ran things. If you didn't want any government at all you could move out west and fend for yourself - free of any governing body. These days every state's laws are identical enough to each others that it really doesn't matter where you live - you're stuck having to accept it.

    One of the biggest reasons this is the case is because of companies coming into new areas with resources to exploit and wanting to conduct their operations in a very similar fashion to their previous location. So they bribed politicians, or held office themselves, instituting many of the same laws and people (who just love consistency) followed in their wake.

    So, crowd-source all you like to draft a new constitution but it's still just a piece of paper; the crowd doesn't run the companies that run the nation. The people who currently administer the process, have the final approval, and those who will come after to amend, revise, or enforce whatever is drafted will still be the same power-hungry sociopaths looking to exploit the system in any feasible way they can. It's just human nature.

     

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  16.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re:

    Those who behave in the familiar live and let live mentality that the majority of us share

    Majority of who share? I fairly certain the majority of people vote to use force in any case they have an opinion on, often without a thought as to whether or not it's proper.

    Is someone trying to marry someone else I don't approve of? Send in the hired guns!
    Is a bank charging more interest than I'd like? Send in the hired guns!
    Is a bakery adding something to their food that I'd rather they didn't? Send in the hired guns!
    Did someone write something on a piece of paper they own that I wrote on my piece of paper yesterday? Send in the hired guns!

     

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    hegemon13, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Very Cool

    Yes, but the commerce clause is not vague. Twisting something to suit a purpose is not the same as saying it's vague. The problem is that, when you get specific, those doing the twisting will simply claim that the language is exclusionary, and anything not specified is okay. The Constitution HAD to be general in order to hedge against changes in culture and technology. Hell, it is specificity, no vagueness, that opens the second and fourth amendment up to attack. If the fourth amendment did not specify "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects," it wouldn't be vulnerable to the claim that emails stored on a third-party server are not subject to fourth amendment restrictions.

    Ultimately, rewriting can do no good if the people are not willing to stand up for their rights. There will always be ways to twist the language. If the people (and their representatives in the legislature) are not willing to stand against the expansion of federal power, no mere words can save us. When a president can enter illegally into war and blatantly disregard the war powers resolution, yet impeachment is considered to be radical, there are no checks and balances left.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    "The people who currently administer the process, have the final approval, and those who will come after to amend, revise, or enforce whatever is drafted will still be the same power-hungry sociopaths looking to exploit the system in any feasible way they can. It's just human nature."

    This is why we need to isolate our politicians from special interest groups:the influence it has on elections and who actually rights the laws.

    Term limits prevent the creation of a constitutional monarchy.

    The law should also be written in such a way that the average person can understand it.

     

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  19.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    The very idea of rewriting the constitution every 5-10 years sends shivers down my spine.

    I can see it now.

    The right guaranteeing profitability.

    The right to income for as long as an idea lasts.

    The right to freedom of interference with a business model.

    The right of business models to be profitable.


    Who gets to do the rewriting? How much does each sentence cost?

     

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  20.  
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    hegemon13, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re:

    We existed for over 100 years before the income tax was established. The original income tax was 1% on the wealthiest of the population. By allowing that small exception on property rights, we have come to point we are today: massive spending and thousands of pages of tax code. That doesn't even address the value stolen from your money by the inflation deliberately caused by the Federal Reserve.

    The question of government revenue is a difficult one. Not all taxes are necessarily unjust, but an income tax certainly is. Regardless, if the nation focused strictly on defense, not international nation-building, a strong, defensive military would cost a fraction of what it costs today.

    The biggest concern for Iceland, however, is that the government is plundering those who are productive to provide entitlements to those who aren't. The establishment of such programs from the start already hands WAY too much power to the government and breeds inefficiency and corruption.

     

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    Frost, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    "State secrets"

    It's, frankly, an outrage that a government would keep secrets from the people. If you think about it, those secrets only serve to insulate the ruling class from the people and they are only needed because every nation is on a competition/war footing with every other one instead of a cooperation base. We're all humans, and all we'd need to do to to give all people good lives is work together for the common good instead of everyone fighting everyone else, either physically or mentally.

    Way to go Iceland for actually continuing to shape the nation into what it truly is - a cooperative effort of the people to live together and provide every citizen with a good life.

     

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    hegemon13, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That's not a majority. It's a very vocal minority. Big difference.

     

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  23.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Very Cool

    The problem is that, when you get specific, those doing the twisting will simply claim that the language is exclusionary, and anything not specified is okay.

    The constitution was meant to be an exhaustive list of all federal government powers and not merely a handful of them, but they didn't spell this out clear enough, apparently. A new version that said "YOU WILL TIE EVERY LAW YOU WRITE TO ONE OF THESE HANDFUL OF POWERS IN THE VERY TEXT OF THAT LAW OR WE WILL STRING YOU UP BY YOUR TOES" would be a welcome addition.

    Clarifying the court's role in striking down unconstitutional laws would also be welcome, given how randomly that particular power arose. I'm not a fan of "judicial restraint" and deference to the legislature, for example. I would rather laws be struck down that weren't "obviously constitutional", rather than allowed when they aren't "obviously unconstitutional".

    Hell, it is specificity, no vagueness, that opens the second and fourth amendment up to attack.

    I know what you're saying, and I agree to a point. But it also cuts the other way. Citizens can't be subject to "unreasonable" search and seizure. What's "reasonable"? Anything the government wants is reasonable, of course! In my opinion, the text can be made to cover the generic without also making it vague.

    Ultimately, rewriting can do no good if the people are not willing to stand up for their rights. [...] When a president can enter illegally into war and blatantly disregard the war powers resolution, yet impeachment is considered to be radical, there are no checks and balances left.

    You are my favorite person. Well said, sir.

     

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  24.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    On any given issue, it's likely to be a minority.

    But on the whole, nearly everyone in the population would vote to use guns when presented with a situation they didn't personally agree with.

    One person says "live and let live!" when confronted with gay marriage, but immediately turns around and decries the use of trans-fats in their donut. The next complains about how the government is poking its nose into what he eats, but by God he believes the country will go down the tubes if the "queers" are allowed to marry.

    I stand by my assertion that people are not "live and let live".

     

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  25.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Very Cool

    Why not just add this as an amendment to the constitution.

    All bills must be put on display for public commenting for a period of six months before being voted upon.

    All bills must be checked for constitutionality.

    All bills and changes must be traceable to the politicians responsible.

     

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  26.  
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    A Monkey with Atitude, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    hell go to a libertarian meeting, we fight all the time about specifics and the whole point is live and let live (you should see what happens when abortion or some such comes up, scary).... But i think that is the point too, we as a nation have moved from disagreement to "OK I dont like this and want a law to stop it" It really started with the drinking ban, and has gone down hill... IMO Governments job would be to step in and stop this "pass a law, cause we don't like something" movement... but right now they need a law to do it and face it: run for office (which i have done a time or 2) you need something specific for each group you courting to get money (my stand on a live/let live was very popular but didn't bring much cash for all the things you need in a campaign)...


    Over all i have to agree with Chris on this one...

     

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  27.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Very Cool

    Six months could be a bit hard when it's something that's an emergency. I prefer a time period based on on how big they are. But I agree with the sentiment.

    We also need an automatic sunset provision: All bills should have an expiration date attached to them, not to exceed, say, five years.

    That should prevent some really lousy pieces of legislation from just hanging around forever because no one wants to spend political capitol on getting rid of them.

     

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    Irving, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Very Cool

    How can a constitutional ammendment be an emergency?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Re:

    every 5-10years the constitution should be rewritten

    Maybe every 100 years but the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were meant to be be very long-lived documents.

    However, I do think that all laws should have a 25 to 50 year expiration date and should have to go thru a full revision before being voted on by both houses again. It's asinine that once a law is a law that it remains on the books forever.

     

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  30.  
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    HothMonster, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No offense to you as you only reinforced the idea presented by the last comment in the article, an idea I'm really sick of. But, whenever I hear people talking about how socialism or some of the facets of socialism are just gonna disincentive everyone from working I think who he must really be lazy. Of course everyone who is at heart lazy(immoral, thief, deviant, evil) believes that everyone else is too and the only thing that keeps the world turning is whatever carrot on a stick keeps them from covering themselves in feces and groping little girls on the subway (or whatever guilty urge the repress on a daily basis and project onto everyone else).

    Like this "People will have no desire to contribute sweat equiity if the government pays all the bills. Have you thought of where you will get the money needed to support all of your welfare recipients once you guarantee they won't need to pay for any of there own needs?"

    Just screams "I am, at heart, a fat lazy slob and if you told me all wealth will be spread equally I am just gonna sit at home all day drinking and fapping until I drink or fap myself to death and if I know I would do it certainly everyone else in the world would too because there is nothing wrong with me."

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

    Tim,

    I find it hard to read your articles when you use words like Transparentest. I'm not sure if you are trying to be clever (it failed) but if you want more people to take you seriously (maybe you don't) then please stop adding this type of verbage in your writing.

     

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  32.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Very Cool

    He said: "All bills must be put on display for public commenting for a period of six months before being voted upon."

    That is, he wanted to amend the constitution to require all laws to have a six month hold period.

     

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  33.  
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    teknosapien, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Very Cool

    Wish we'd just follow our constitution it's actually pretty decent if followed along with the Bill Of Rights

     

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  34.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Very Cool

    It was quite awesome when first crafted (hell, it's still quite awesome in a relative sense!). In an absolute sense, however, they left a bunch of things out. Some of them were not their fault; they simply didn't know they would be an issue down the road.

    The war on cameras (and other technological methods of accountability) by police officers, for example, could not have been foreseen.

     

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    Fin, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    Yeah taking from the wealthy and giving to the poor. Who do those evil tyranny-building vikings think they are? Jesus?

    They should embrace social Darwinism a la Americana.

    So when is the US invading?

     

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    Jesse (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:09pm

    "1. I would suggest that under Education, a clause be instituted to allow children and their families to seek restitution from individual teachers upon improper teaching of personal views"

    First of all: ew.

    Second of all: I find it interesting that the sorts of people that espouse such ideas are the very same people who complain about too much political correctness in modern day society. No understanding of cause and effect.

     

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    Jason, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:34pm

    Smirk...

    "Transparentest"...because it's Ice-land :D

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:35pm

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people

    "Exactly what we're doing Justin ;)"

    It's... it's beautiful. Five words and a smiley, and it's more honest government than we've had here in America in centuries. I hope we can have those ideals again someday.

    (Yes, lobbying does go back that far. Back then it was less about music and more about milk, but it was pretty much the same thing.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 6:39pm

    Iceland continues to be at the top of the list of countries I'd want to emigrate to.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Very Cool

    We would actually need to put piece in the amendment that reduces the time for acts of war against the US and funding for acts of God (storm surges, etc).

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2011 @ 8:00pm

    "We are blessed with ample natural resources like hydro electricity, clean water, agriculture, and sustainable fishing". Hey, don't forget Bjork!

     

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  42.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 9:39pm

    Re:

    "This is why we need to isolate our politicians from special interest groups:the influence it has on elections and who actually rights the laws."


    Politician monks anyone?

     

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  43.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 14th, 2011 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Very Cool

    "We also need an automatic sunset provision: All bills should have an expiration date attached to them, not to exceed, say, five years."

    With the entirety of the bill read into the record before each vote on a bill, or extension. Also all readings should be broadcast live.

    That would prevent obama care like laws from being enacted. It would also make politicians think twice about pork and pork related projects.

     

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  44.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jun 15th, 2011 @ 2:44am

    Re:

    the party system is wonderfully unhelpful too, actually.

     

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  45.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 15th, 2011 @ 3:43am

    Re:

    Bjork was vat-grown in a volcano. IT was the safest place.

    :p

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Idobek (profile), Jun 15th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    Rights vs. "Rights"

    It looks like they're going for the current trend of writing constitutions outlining all the things the government should be doing for it's people. i.e. the granting of social, legal, rights.

    A constitution should be about restricting the power of government. i.e. safeguarding natural, inalienable, rights

    The latter is far, far more important than the former.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    Considering Iceland is one of the rare countries that has gone bankrupt, has failed to pay it's obligations, and doesn't have anything that resembles a balanced budget, I don't consider them a place to take advice from. Rather, it is the proof that they are so screwed up that they cannot even find their own constitutional asses with both hands.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "But, whenever I hear people talking about how socialism or some of the facets of socialism are just gonna disincentive everyone from working I think who he must really be lazy."

    Well, then just look at history, instead. You won't find communist and socialist countries with a happy, motivated populace. It's not a matter of being lazy. Having your rewards for producing and improving society stripped away and given to those who do little to nothing will dampen the enthusiasm of even the most motivated, self-starting go-getter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    cjstg (profile), Jun 15th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    take yourself seriously much?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Having your rewards for producing and improving society stripped away and given to those who do little to nothing will dampen the enthusiasm of even the most motivated, self-starting go-getter.

    ... which can be seen today in the U.S. where the fruits of the labor of the lower and middle classes are siphoned into the coffers of the upper class, who use that money to further concentrate our wealth and political power into their own hands. Is it any wonder that our lower and middle classes are depressed, obese, and disinclined to participate in politics?

    If we were already a civilized nation, we wouldn't need to chip in to hire professionals (government workers) to restrain the obscenely powerful and provide for our mutual health and safety. Socialism may not be the best route to Utopia, but neither is feudalism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Having your rewards for producing and improving society stripped away and given to those who do little to nothing will dampen the enthusiasm of even the most motivated, self-starting go-getter.

    ... which can be seen today in the U.S. where the fruits of the labor of the lower and middle classes are siphoned into the coffers of the upper class, who use that money to further concentrate our wealth and political power into their own hands. Is it any wonder that our lower and middle classes are depressed, obese, and disinclined to participate in politics?

    If we were already a civilized nation, we wouldn't need to chip in to hire professionals (government workers) to restrain the obscenely powerful and provide for our mutual health and safety. Socialism may not be the best route to Utopia, but neither is feudalism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, then just look at history, instead. You won't find communist and socialist countries with a happy, motivated populace.

    Compared to the U.S., where everyone is happy happy! Where everything is just wonderful!

    Having your rewards for producing and improving society stripped away and given to those who do little to nothing will dampen the enthusiasm of even the most motivated, self-starting go-getter.

    You mean, like the hourly worker that works hard for low wages to support the idle, rich, company owners? Hey, aren't you arguing against yourself?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 9:59pm

    well i think its time to move to iceland

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 10:03pm

    Re:

    *looks around*
    *googles "constitution wiki"*'
    ;__;

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 10:05pm

    Re: Re:

    im sure a riot would break out if it wasnt the public writing these one go w/o them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Idobek (profile), Jun 16th, 2011 @ 3:03am

    Re:

    No, it is the country that didn't bail out its banks but instead let the market do its work. If the rest of the world had followed Iceland's example we'd all be better off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re:

    No, it is the country that didn't bail out its banks but instead let the market do its work. If the rest of the world had followed Iceland's example we'd all be better off.

    Amen

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Bryan (profile), Jun 16th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Very Cool

    Right now, that thought is utterly terrifying. The rewrite would be driven by special interest groups. We would pay taxes directly to the RIAA and MPAA. We need our house in order first as what we have now is pretty much being ignored when it is inconvenient.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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