File this one under progressive:
The 25-member council drafting the new constitution is reaching out to Icelanders online, especially through social media sites Facebook and Twitter, video-sharing site YouTube and photo site Flickr.
Iceland’s population of 320,000 is among the world’s most computer-literate. Two-thirds of Icelanders are on Facebook, so the constitutional council’s weekly meetings are broadcast live on the social networking site as well as on the council’s website.
When the North Atlantic island nation gained independence from Denmark in 1944, it simply took the Danish constitution and made a few minor adjustments, such as substituting the word “president” for “king.”
A thorough review of the constitution has been on the agenda ever since, but action came only after the crisis in 2008, when Iceland’s main commercial banks collapsed within a week, the krona currency plummeted and protests toppled the government.
“To me, it has long been clear that a comprehensive review of the constitution would only be carried out with the direct participation of the Icelandic people,” said Iceland’s Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, one of the champions of the constitutional review since taking office in 2009.
I have to wonder what relevance Flickr has in constitutional considerations. Perhaps they’re floating the idea of picture references (kidding…I hope).
This would otherwise seem pretty cool and interestingly progressive if we hadn’t seen similar moves here in the States and learned that it is little more than a political mirage to make citizens think they have more influence in crafting legislation than they actually do.
Perhaps Iceland is different.