Icelanders 'like' their crowdsourced constitution

A year after Iceland asked its citizens to help write its new constitution by making suggestions via Facebook, voters decide this new draft should be the basis for the upcoming constitution.

Iceland's government tried a social networking experiment a year ago.

In the wake of a crushing recession and raging protests, the government decided to rewrite its constitution and asked its citizens for help. Rather than requesting petitions, letters, or phone calls, the government asked people to help draft the new constitution through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

Over the course of the year, Iceland's citizens offered roughly 3,600 comments and 370 suggestions on the draft constitution, which was then drawn up by 25 members of a constitutional council, according to Reuters.

Today it was announced that the country's citizens officially back the draft constitution, according to Reuters. In a referendum held over the weekend, two-thirds of voters said they wanted to use the crowdsourced constitution as the basis for the country's new constitution.

Two-thirds of Iceland's population is on Facebook, so during the drafting period the council's weekly meetings were broadcast live on the council's website, as well as on the social network. Citizens were able to make their own suggestions, engage in online debates, and follow the proceedings in real-time.

"It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook," spokeswoman for the constitutional review project Berghildur Bernhardsdottir told the Associated Press last year.

Now, the draft constitution will be passed onto politicians for editing, polishing, and review. There is a chance that parliament will scrap the draft and write a different constitution themselves. All should be decided, however, before the country's next election, which is set for the spring of 2013.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

iPhone running slow?

Here are some quick fixes for some of the most common problem in iOS 7.