Stjórnlagaþing

Although I have heard some say that the Stjórnlagaþing will probably not make any significant changes, because its authorization comes from the Althingi, I personally hope that is not the case. I personally hope the delegates elected to that assembly will be the most far-sighted, responsible, clear-thinking, and daring group of people that Iceland has to offer. I hope they come up with something radical and important, to envision a new Iceland.

The struggle for Icelandic independence came in the midst of bombastic European nationalistic rhetoric, and Iceland gained independence during what I would call the period of late nationalism. Now the world is in a different place, a globalized economy fueled by incredible information sharing. To be writing a constitution now, when the shackles of nationalism are finally falling away, seems to me a tremendous opportunity. Iceland could be at the forefront of crafting a new concept of a democratic country operating on the principles of the 21st century and beyond, instead of on the 18th century.  Iceland is, I believe, one of the few industrialized, modern, democratic countries to draft a new constitution in the last 20 years, if not the only one.

I am truly excited for those delegates who get elected to serve on the Constitutional Committee, and I hope they do their job at least as well as the authors of the Black Report. All it takes is the daring to not worry too much if some particular point here or there might be difficult for your great-aunt's second husband, who still cherishes the white and blue. Now is the time to think of the greater good.

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