Iceland: Five lessons from failed experiment in creating a crowdsourced constitution

By Hélène Landemore, 1 August 2014
Courtesy of Tanya Hart/Flickr
Iceland’s experiment in redrafting its constitution has challenged the assumption that a constitutional process is always exclusive and opaque. Above, Reykjavik in April 2013. Courtesy of Tanya Hart/Flickr
<p>Who should write the constitution of a democratic country and, indeed, any country? The answer seems obvious: its people. Yet the constitutions of existing states, including democratic ones, have usually been written by small, rather unrepresentative subsets of individuals. Solon is supposed to have single-handedly laid out the foundations of democratic Athens. The U.S. Constitution was penned by a few dozen white men. More recent examples of constitutional processes involve the usual elites: professional politicians and state bureaucrats. But even elected or otherwise democratically authorized constitutional drafters are at best metaphorically, “We, the People.”</p>
Read the full article here: Slate


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