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Iceland Taps Facebook To Rewrite Its Constitution 264

An anonymous reader writes "Iceland is finally overhauling its constitution, and it has turned to the Internet to get input from citizens. More specifically, the 25-member council drafting the new constitution is reaching out to its citizens through Facebook. Two thirds of Iceland's population (approximately 320,000) is on Facebook, so the constitutional council's weekly meetings are broadcast live not only on the council's website, but on the social network as well. 'It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook,' said Berghildur Bernhardsdottir, spokeswoman for the constitutional review project."
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Iceland Taps Facebook To Rewrite Its Constitution

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  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @04:52AM (#36460134) Homepage

    Indeed. So many people are perpetuating this false notion about the Icelandic crisis.

    1) Iceland *has* taken austerity measures, and pretty significant ones -- about 40% cuts, 60% revenue.

    2) Iceland *did* pump significant money into their banks -- nearly a year's worth of GDP as loans. However, they did it *after* the banks went into receivership. This let them fully bail out their own citizens while not fully bailing out the citizens of other countries who invested. This is actually the basis for the legal case against them.

    3) This action is the reason that, contrary to popular misconception, the Icelandic crisis is *far* from over. This isn't about banks, the IMF, some shadowy cartel, or whatnot trying to force Iceland to pay back vague "debts". Rather, it's about paying back UK and Dutch citizens for their maximum insurable losses in their Icesave accounts. Individuals, not institutional investors, and the entities seeking the payback are the UK and Dutch governments. Iceland rejected reduced settlements with them in the referendum, so now they're having to fight paying back the *full* cost in the EFTA court system. If they lose, things will go very badly for them. One thing that may help is that the estates of the collapsed banks appear to be larger than expected, so they may be able to pay off most if not all of the overseas accounts just from that.

    4) In a way, this is as much aggravated by old rivalries [wikipedia.org] than anything else, esp. with the UK. It certainly didn't help matters that the UK invoked a provision designed for terrorists against Iceland to sieze Landsbanki assets in the UK. It's so crazy that I sometimes run into British people online talking about how they should sue Iceland for the volcanoes.

    I don't know that Iceland's approach was right or wrong. They definitely got themselves into a lot of trouble with their domestic bailout. But as for taking things to the EFTA, only time will see how that goes. I do find it admirable that they've thrown their legal system not just at the bankers that caused the mess, but the politicians who stood by or were complicit in allowing it to happen. Their real problem is that their banking crisis was so much larger than their economy, so when other nations wanted them to insure against the losses from their banks, well...

  • by Mindcontrolled ( 1388007 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @04:58AM (#36460172)
    You won't be getting through to him, mate. You are from Norway, after all, that makes you a socialist by definition. Our randroid friend is probably going through some elaborate ritual cleansing to get off the taint he acquired from reading your post. ;)

    The more I hear about your country, btw, the more I consider getting up there, as things seem to go to shit around lately. Well, if you only could relocate the whole act to some place with a decent climate....
  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by azalin ( 67640 ) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @05:04AM (#36460194)
    You have obviously never lived in Scandinavia. Most people in Europe envy their way of live. Culture, social security, healthcare - but that is all nanny style communism is suppose. As for the alcohol: Try living in a place where the sun shows up for 2 hours a day during winter, where your traveling options a severely limited by ice and snow for several months and where winter depressions are common. (No not the "I'm not feeling happy today, so I must be depressed" kind, but the "I am going to drink my self senseless from October to March or simply kill myself" kind.) The laws weren't implemented because people were drinking vodka like soda and had a mortality rate not even heard of in any other country in the world.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein