Islands Verfassungsexperiment ist so gut wie gescheitert / Der etwas andere Rettungsschirm der Isländer

[verfassungsblog / 29.03.2013] Das wohl ambitionierteste Demokratieexperiment der jüngeren europäischen Verfassungsgeschichte hat vorläufig sein Ende gefunden – und kein gutes. Das Parlament wird in dieser Legislaturperiode, die Ende April endet, nicht mehr über den Entwurf des Verfassungsrates abstimmen. Damit sind die Chancen, dieses einzigartige Experiment tatsächlich zum Erfolg zu führen, auf nahezu Null gesunken.

Putsch: Iceland‘s crowd-sourced constitution killed by parliament
[verfassungsblog / 30.03.2013] Following its spectacular plunge from grace in 2008 when its banking system crashed, inflicting huge damage on foreign creditors as well as on local residents, Iceland caught attention for trying to come to grips with what happened by bringing court cases against bankers and others allegedly responsible for the crash as well as for inviting the people of Iceland and its directly elected representatives to draft a new post-crash constitution designed inter alia to reduce the likelihood of another crash.

In sum, it was clear that in a secret ballot the constitutional bill would never have had a chance of being adopted by parliament, not even after the national referendum on the bill on 20 October 2012 where 67% of the electorate expressed their support for the bill as well as for its main individual provisions, including national ownership of natural resources (83% said Yes), direct democracy (73% said Yes), and ‘one person, one vote’ (67% said Yes). But the parliament does not vote in secret. In fact, 32 out of 63 members of parliament were induced by an e-mail campaign organized by ordinary citizens to declare that they supported the bill and wanted to adopt it now. Despite these public declarations, however, the bill was not brought to a vote in the parliament, a heinous betrayal – and probably also an illegal act committed with impunity by the president of the parliament. Rather, the parliament decided to disrespect its own publicly declared will as well as the popular will as expressed in the national referendum by putting the bill on ice and, to add insult to injury, hastily requiring 2/3 of parliament plus 40% of the popular vote to approve any change in the constitution in the next parliament, meaning that at least 80% voter turnout would be required for a constitutional reform to be accepted in the next session of parliament.

Thorvaldur Gylfason
Thorvaldur Gylfason is a professor of Economics at the University of Iceland and was a member of the Constitutional Council.

Der etwas andere Rettungsschirm der Isländer - "Wer spekuliert, trägt das Risiko"
[dradio / 26.03.2013] Als der isländische Premierminister Geir Haarde im Oktober 2008 seine Rede an die kleine Nation mit "Gott schütze Island" beendete, hatte er seine Landsleute gerade darüber informiert, dass Island und damit alle 300.000 Isländer pleite waren.

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