The most basic democratic right? Beneficial ownership of natural resources

News about ‘Democracy’ from Iceland

If Iceland demonstrates the possibilities of direct democracy, recent months have also exposed its limitations. A row still rages over the country’s constitution, which was created after its economic collapse. When 950 Icelanders, randomly chosen from the national register, gathered for one day in 2010 to decide its founding principles it was hailed as the world’s first “crowd-sourced” constitution. Continue reading


Tomas Mancebo wrote to point out a proposal for a constitutional system by Stephen Shalom called Participatory politics, or ParPolity, which contains a sortition-based element.

The main part of the proposal is a “nested councils” structure – a standard proposal of a hierarchical structure of elected bodies where each body elects a representative to a higher-level body:

Unlike typical direct elections, a good political system must give people an organic connection to those they elect so they can adequately monitor their performance and remove them when necessary. There cannot be large or remote constituencies that render monitoring impossible or even burdensome.

Unlike typical indirect elections, a good political system must ensure that the people’s will does not get attenuated through each intermediate level of voting.
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