August 1, 2011
Iceland's Crowdsourced Draft Constitution Submitted
On July 29, 2011, Iceland's Constitutional Council presented its draft constitution to the Speaker of Althingi. The drafting process was crowdsourced by way of the Council's website. In Icelanders hand in draft of world's first 'web' constitution, Agnes Valdimarsdottir (AFP) reports the website was an "incubator for comments... . Moreover, the council was present on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, allowing Iceland -- and the world -- to follow its progress."
From the Constitutional Council's The Constitutional Council hands over the bill for a new constitution (English version):
The Constitutional Council presented the Speaker of Althingi, Mrs. Ásta Ragnheidur Jóhannesdottir, with the bill for a new constitution in Idnó, today. The bill was unanimously approved by all delegates, at the last meeting of the Council, on Wednesday 27 July 2011. The bill assumes that from now on, changes to the constitution will be submitted to a vote by all who are eligible to vote in Iceland, for either approval or rejection. All delegates agree that the population should be given the chance to vote on the new constitution before Althingi’s final vote on it. In the case of ideas arising to make changes to the bill prepared by the Constitutional Council, the delegates of the Council declare themselves ready to revert to the matter before a national referendum is held.
The delegates of the Constitutional Council is a group of various people with diverse opinions, education and experience in life. Each and everyone has taken a stance to matters based on their own beliefs and opinions. During the process, the Council has consulted the Report of the Constitutional Committee, as well as the result of the National Forum 2010. The public has had wide access to the work of the Council, primarily by writing comments, totaling 3600, as well as sending their suggestions, numbering approximately 370, to the Council’s website. The idea that the public had their saying in the revision of the constitution has thus been preserved. In that way, the bill of the Council has little by little taken shape during discussion between the delegates themselves and with open exchange of opinion with the community. The Constitutional Council now presents the bill to the Parliament and to the people. Explanatory notes on the bill, reflecting the discussion within and outside of the Council, will be handed over to Althingi next week.
The Constitutional Council expects that the open discussion of recent months on constitutional matters will continue.