Alda

Alda is an Icelandic organization promoting reform of Iceland’s government system, including the use of sortition in various ways. A member, Kristinn Már Ársælsson, has an article on the openDemocracy site:

After the crash that destroyed Iceland’s economy, Icelanders started to take an interest in new forms of political and economic governance.

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In some respect, Icelanders have made their voices and interests heard in a way people of other countries have not. The protests after the crash got us a new government, the head of the central bank and the financial inspection agency were axed and a process to make a new constitution with the active involvement of the people was initiated.

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These are important achievements. Things that other countries could learn from. But frankly, most of these developments were also controversial in Iceland and overall, they could have been executed more efficiently. For example: the idea that the general public should be actively involved in creating a new constitution is indubitably right. But this could have been better carried out. The selection process didn’t have the legitimacy it needed and random selection should have been used as well. The time given to the process was too short. There was not enough debate all over the country and in the media. Of course, in comparison with the constitution being rewritten by a small group of politicians in closed session, as usually happens, the new process was great. But it could have been better.

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