Saturday, July 11, 2015

Iceland 2008 – now, timeline with supporting links

Oct: Economic crash, 3 banks collapse

Pots and Pans revolution

Government resigns
Feb: new Government elected (Social Democratic Alliance and Left-Green coalition)

Director Central Bank resigns

new constitution process begins

Aug: Kaupping Bank gags national broadcaster RUV from broadcasting a risk analysis report originating from Wikileaks. This enrages people when they find out.

June: Icelandic Modern Media Initiative Freedom of Information resolution unanimously approved by parliament

(a) New constitution crowd sourced – a National Assembly of 1000 individuals randomly selected to elicit their opinions of what should go into the new constitution
(b) Consitutional Committee (7 experts) produces report on ideas and information for the new constitution
Nov: (c) Constitutional Assembly elected (25 seats)

International Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) formed

July: Constitutional Bill presented to Parliament
Parliament rejects Constitutional Bill

April: Geir Haarde (former PM) found guilty of negligence (not sentenced)

Oct: Government submits Constitutional Bill to referendum, with some additional related questions. 69% respond that the Constitutional Bill should be used as a basis for the new constitution

Nov: Pirate Party of Iceland formed. Platform of democratic reform, adoption of a new constitution, copyright reform, safeguarding freedom of expression and freedom of information

Jan: New Information Act passed

April: New Government elected (Independent and Social Democratic alliance). Pirate Party receives 5.1% of the vote

June: Pirate Party is the most popular party in Iceland with 34.1% of the vote. The next Icelandic parliamentary elections will be held on or before 27 April 2017

For trends in the polls since 2013 see Icelandic_parliamentary_election,_2017

LINKS, some annotated
* indicates well worth reading IMHO

1) The ongoing pots and pans revolution as a response to the economic crash of 2008

update (Sept 16)
* Reykjavik Rising (video 54 min) provides an excellent background to the thinking of some of the activists behind the pots and pans revolution and subsequent events.

* Iceland's unfinished revolution? An interview with Hordur Torfason
The award-winning human rights activist credited with starting Iceland's 'pots and pans revolution' ... So in the crash in October 2008, I had already done things like this. I’ve learned a lot of what I would call facts or methods through my years of dealing with people. So what I simply did is what Socrates did in the old days, I went around asking people questions. I just placed myself in front of the parliament building and I asked people, ‘Can you tell me what has happened in this country?’ and ‘Do you have any idea what we can do?’ I stood there every day during the lunch-hour and it didn’t take me long to understand the seriousness of the situation, the anger among people and how scared people were.
* Lessons from Iceland's 'pots and pans revolution' (2015)
In the long run then, what may turn out to be a more significant outcome of the revolution is the cluster of citizens’ initiatives that emerged, dedicated to improving the way democracy works. Rather than focusing on banking reform, the post-revolution push from Icelandic civil society has been on fundamental democratic reform. The logic runs: why treat the symptoms of a system that has become corrupt when you can tackle the disease itself?
Big rallies outside Iceland's Parliament continue in 2014-15:
March 2015: anti-government-protest-draw-thousands-doors-icelands-parliament
Nov 2014: thousands-gather-outside-icelands-parliament
Solomon comes to Iceland (2012)

2) The Banks

* Icesave dispute -Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Icesave dispute was a diplomatic dispute that began after the privately owned Icelandic bank Landsbanki went bankrupt on 7 October 2008, with a subsequent dispute evolving between Iceland on one hand and the United Kingdom and the Netherlands on the other
* A short history of banks and democracy (2013)
The extraordinary bounce-back of the banks reveals the most disturbing, but least obvious, largely invisible, feature of the unfinished European crisis: the transformation of democratic taxation states into post-democratic banking states (includes a section on Iceland at the end)
3) IMMI (International Modern Media Initiative) and FOI (freedom of information),

* John Perry Barlow - On The Right To Know (2008 Digital Freedoms Conference)
Speech at Digital Freedoms Conference, Reykjavík (Iceland) → his comment about Iceland becoming the Switzerland of bits was influential in kick starting the FOI movement. Video, roughly 60 minutes, entertaining history of his involvement in internet freedom issues. At 33 min. he makes the point that an important historical battle is being waged over control of information.

* The official IMMI web
International Modern Media Institute (Icelandic and English sections)
About IMMI
The International Modern Media Institute was founded in 2011 with the aim of bringing together the best functioning laws in relation to freedom of information, expression and speech, reflecting the reality of borderless world and the challenges that it imposes locally and globally in the 21st century
* Reports & Academic Papers
This page includes the report "Beyond WikiLeaks: The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative and the Creation of Free Speech Havens" (pdf 24pp)
* Heimildarmyndir um IMMI
“From the Hell of the Crisis to the Paradise of Journalism” (1 hour 13 minutes) provides a dramatic and informative introduction to what has been happening in Iceland since the economic crisis of 2008 to the near present. Some sections in Icelandic but nearly all of it is in English.
FOI progression since the IMMI resolution: A new Information Act was passed in January 2013. It does not satisfy the IMMI resolution’s level of quality and assurance, as referred to with regards to the public’s access to information.
The Data Narrative - The Reykjavik Grapevine (2013)
Smari McCarthy: there has yet to be a country in the world that has promoted global competitiveness on the basis of the best human rights, data protection and legal transparency
Read a five-point guide for a better internet (2013)

4) The people want a new constitution in Iceland but their efforts so far have been foiled by a parliament which still represents vested interets

* Aðfaraorð – Iceland_New_Constitutional_Bill.pdf (2011)
A proposal for a new constitution for the Republic of Iceland delivered to the Althing by The Constitutional Council on 29 July 2011

Content includes: transparency, fairness, environmental protection, national ownership of natural resources and stronger checks and balances between the 3 branches of government
* Iceland: direct democracy in action (2012)
Do you want the proposals of the Constitutional Council to form the basis of a legislative bill for a new Constitution? 67% said Yes.

Would you want natural resources which are not in private ownership to be declared the property of the nation in a new Constitution? 83% said Yes.

Would you want a new Constitution to include provisions on a National Church of Iceland? 57% said Yes.

Would you want a new Constitution to permit personal elections to the Althing to a greater degree than permitted at present? 78% said Yes.

Would you want a new Constitution to include provisions to the effect that the votes of the electorate across the country should have the same force? 67% said Yes.

Would you want a new Constitution to include provisions to the effect that a specific proportion of the electorate could call for a national referendum on a specific matter? 73% said Yes.
* Jon Elster í Silfri Egils 13. maí 2012
Interview with constitutional expert Jon Elster about Iceland's new constitution - mostly in English after an Icelandic introduction (video)
Hope from below: composing the commons in Iceland (2011)
Icelandic constitution on the way (2012)
The Icelandic constitutional experiment (2012)
Real democracy in Iceland? (2012)
From the people to the people, a new constitution (2012)
Real democracy still missing (2013)
When politics strike back: the end of the Icelandic constitutional experiment? (2013)
Democracy on ice: a post-mortem of the Icelandic constitution (2013)

5) The Pirate Party (Iceland)

There are currently 3 Pirate MPs: Birgitta Jónsdóttir (Southwest), Jón Þór Ólafsson (Reykjavik South) and Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson (Reykjavik North)

update (July 14): * Exclusive interview with Pirate MP: Resigned from Parliament to mix asphalt
Jón Þór gave his word shortly after the elections two years ago, that he would step aside for his supplementary MP, Ásta Helgadóttir, and he is sticking to that word. So, he is retiring from politics and returning to his previous day job, which is to load asphalt onto trucks at an asphalt mixing plant. Of course it is stuff like this which is leading many voters to the party. It seems to be something different from the more established parties ...

What could other parties learn from the success of the Icelandic Pirates?

This, he believes might help explain why the Icelandic Pirate party has been surging in the polls, while Pirate parties in Europe are struggling: It isn’t all about the internet.
“Of course I don’t know enough about all the details, and there are different factors in each country, but to my understanding some of the European Pirate parties have not prioritized democratic reforms, and direct democracy in the way that we have done. But some of it has to do with the fact that Iceland is a small society, and you can more easily achieve things in a small society you can’t in larger societies.”

* Icelandic_parliamentary_election,_2017
June 2015 Opinion Polls: Pirate Party 33.2%; Independence 23.8%; Progressive 10.6%; Social Democratic Alliance 9.3%; Left-Greens 12.0%; Bright Future 5.6%; Others 5.5%
* We, the people, are the system | Birgitta Jónsdóttir | TEDxReykjavik
The 21st century will be the century of the common people – the century of you, of US
* Birgitta Jónsdóttir official blog
Poetician and activist in the Icelandic Parliament for the Pirate Party
* Making Better Decisions - The Reykjavik Grapevine (2013)
Smari McCarthy: For the last several years I’ve been thinking about the way we make decisions in societies, and the way in which we often sacrifice our ideals on the altar of expectations. This line of thinking has led to the development of a number of systems broadly termed “liquid democracy”: electronic voting and deliberation systems geared towards helping people make better decisions together. In the Pirate Party, for whom I’ve become a candidate, we use one of these systems of my design to make decisions. Anybody can propose an idea, and after a rudimentary sanity check it goes into a process where anybody can comment and propose changes to the proposal, after which the entire thing goes to a vote
* Pirate Party Iceland Chatgroup (Facebook)
This a group where Icelandic Pirates of the English persuasion come togeather and discuss politics, policies and current events in the Icelandic Political arena
Pirate Party, Iceland

No joke: Iceland's Pirate Party surges into first place in the polls
Show Notes and Podcast: The Order of the Pirate Unicorn Podcast 008 | PirateTimes
Background information about iceland's pirate party
Iceland: portrait of the pirate as a young politician (2014)
* Rebuilding democracy in Iceland: an interview with Birgitta Jonsdottir (2015)
Smári McCarthy | Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing
Smári McCarthy is an Icelandic/Irish innovator and information activist. He is executive director of the International Modern Media Institute, a co-founder and board member of the Icelandic Digital Freedoms Society (FSFÍ) and a participant in the Global Swadeshi movement. He is a founding member of the Icelandic Pirate Party,and stood as their lead candidate in Iceland's southern constituency in the 2013 parliamentary elections. He was the spokesperson and one of the organizers of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative.
You Have It All Wrong! - The Reykjavik Grapevine (2012)
Early interview of Smari McCarthy about the formation of the Pirate Party
6) other political issues

A cold reception: the rise of anti-Islamic sentiments in Iceland?

RELATED LINKS ABOUT DEMOCRACY, not about iceland in particular

Democratic Reason: The Mechanisms of Collective Intelligence in Politics by Helene E. Landemore :: SSRN

Connecting the Basque and Icelandic cases: an ethnographic chronicle about democratic regeneration

* Bergeron's Children - Smári McCarthy - Appropedia: The sustainability wiki
Story telling which links together the Economic Crash of 2008 - the Arab Spring of 2010-11 – the current Icelandic Freedom of Information movement
Smári McCarthy: Failure Modes of the Modern Rational Utopia (2013)
video: High-modernist idealists, when given unfiltered power to act on their ideologies, have a tendency to try to enact their vision through authoritarian means - the creation of laws and regulations, the manipulation of the major consensus narrative, through socioeconomic restructuring and societal design. As with the sudden introduction of any large scale perturbation to a chaotic system, the results are often unpredictable. There is plenty of evidence of historical flawed attempts at constructing rational utopia, where the perceived ability to control society leads to disaster, but the modern rational utopia - in its technologically superpowered glory - promises to fail in ways we have not yet fully fathomed. I talk about how authoritarianism is changing its nature, how rational utopias come about, look at how they fail and why fail, and try and figure out what we can do about it.
Passing Over Eisenhower (2013)
Smari McCarthy: there is a plan emerging. The hackers and the human rights activists, the net-freedom-blah people and the technophiles have been awakening from the post-Arab spring burnout and remembering the things that need to be done to prevent the next Mubarek. Better, simpler, more usable cryptography. Peer-to-peer, verifiable, anonymous monetary systems and democratic decision making systems. Secure communications and full transparency within governance.
Liquid Democracy In Simple Terms

The Joy of Revolution (chap. 1)
To begin with the political aspect, roughly speaking we can distinguish five degrees of “government”: (1) Unrestricted freedom (2) Direct democracy ____ a) consensus ____ b) majority rule (3) Delegate democracy (4) Representative democracy (5) Overt minority dictatorship The present society oscillates between (4) and (5), i.e. between overt minority rule and covert minority rule camouflaged by a façade of token democracy. A liberated society would eliminate (4) and (5) and would progressively reduce the need for (2) and (3). I’ll discuss the two types of (2) later on. But the crucial distinction is between (3) and (4)
Delegative democracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Delegative democracy, also known as liquid democracy, is a form of democratic control whereby voting power is vested in delegates, rather than representatives. This term is a generic description of either already existing or proposed popular control apparatuses

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