More thoughts on Iceland’s new “ordinary citizen” constitution

Regarding the Icelandic constitutional convention. I’m Icelandic and I’m very apprehensive about the whole thing. To you American Tea Party people this might sound like an awesome idea, but then you live in a country where one fifth of the country identifies as a tea partier and more than half has a positive view of the tea party. In Iceland, on the other hand, the electorate is much further to the political left. I’m not going to smear my countrymen and call them all socialists – because they’re not – but there are strong socialist trends in the electorate, especially after the crash. I’m afraid that the outcome will be a constitution that will have a massively engorged bill of rights, packed with the sort of “rights” people like you and me are not overly fond of. I’m also afraid that property rights will take a beating, especially when it comes to ownership of natural resources. The system of transferable fishing quotas – which has made the Icelandic fishing industry one of the few in the West to operate in the black – is very likely going to be gutted (no pun intended).

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