Iceland is crowdsourcing its new constitution

June 16th, 2011

After the huge impact of the financial crisis on its banking system and government, Iceland is writing a new Constitution through crowdsourcing. Citizens can share their ideas on a dedicated website and the major social networks as to what the new document should contain.

“This is the first time a constitution is being drafted basically on the Internet,” said Thorvaldur Gylfason, member of Iceland’s constitutional council to the Guardian. Iceland’s constitution was written when it gained its independance from Danemark in 1944. It is based on the Danish constitution, with a few minor adjustments.

The constitutional council is posting draft clauses of the document every week on its website, that the citizens can comment underneath. The public can also join the discussion on the council’s Facebook page.

The collaboration goes further: the council also has a Twitter accounta YouTube page where interviews with its members are regularly posted, and a Flickr account containing pictures of the 25 members at work. The council opens its meetings to the public and streams them live on to the website and Facebook page.

The draft is due to be ready at the end of July. A referendum will then be organised without any changes imposed by parliament. This new constitution will intend to reorganise the Icelandic intsitutions, to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis.