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National Referendum: A Sad Day For Democracy in Iceland

Tomorrow is the first national referendum Icelandic citizens have been allowed to participate in by the political elite since the conception of the republic in 1944. By all measures, this should be a happy day for democracy in Iceland.

But instead it is not a cause for celebration but a large milestone in the farcical power play which has taken place between the four largest political movements in Iceland since 1944.

Yes, a farce. "Isn`t that what this whole thing really is", asked a Dutch journalist yesterday after surveying the scene? It is a sad day.

The media has a lot to answer for

The media has a lot to answer for. Instead of allowing people like law professor Bryndis Hlodversdottir and political science professor Svanur Kristjansson to explain to the nation why this isn't good democracy, the media has instead handed the microphones to red-faced, unbalanced Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, chairman of the Progressive Party whose political career has revolved around kicking up as much mess as possible around IceSave. It makes for a better TV than a balanced approach and it creates pressure on the government he opposes.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Mar 7th, 2010 at 05:30:06 PM EST
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