Posted 10 months ago on Jan. 12, 2013, 5:09 p.m. EST by Builder
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Iceland once more shows how democracy can work in the age of the internet and free speech.
(quote/) Voters in Iceland have responded favorably to the government's offer to let them participate in drafting the nation's new constitution.
According to GigaOm, the idea to let citizens chime in online, namely via Facebook and Twitter, was hatched by 25 people on the Constitutional Council, which was tasked with devising a new constitution. The council utilized ideas it found online and wove them into a draft constitution that was delivered in July.
The next step toward implementing these Web-based suggestions was a national referendum. Indeed, citizens approved, by a two-to-one margin, that the new constitution be based on the crowdsourced draft.
The parliament will now decide if that draft will be officially adopted as the national constitution.
GigaOm attributes this extreme brand of participatory democracy to the lingering effects of the financial crisis, which ravaged Iceland's banks and government. Thus did new lawmakers opt to go the open route -- first with the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which is fiercely protective of free speech and whistleblowers, and then with constitutional crowdsourcing.(unquote)