According to articles in the links below (and elsewhere) Iceland
- crowdsourced its new constitution with mass participation and elected delegates to a Constituent Assembly
- made investors and bankers – not taxpayers – pay for the economic crash (it didn’t bail out the banks)
- took legal action against individuals responsible for the crash
- expanded its social safety net in the midst of the downturn
- built an economy with a very high percentage of renewable energy
- is establishing some of the strongest freedom of information, journalistic, and whistle-blower protections in the world
- AND has an economic recovery that the International Monetary Fund calls “impressive”
What a shame they have had so little mainstream media coverage in the U.S….
Lisa Karpova says, “A new constitution, drafted by a Constituent Assembly of 25 citizens elected by universal suffrage among 522 candidates, comprising nine chapters and 114 articles, was adopted in 2011. It provides for the right to information, public access to official documents (Article 15), the creation of a Commission for the Control of government accountability (Article 63), the right to direct consultation (Article 65) – 10% of voters can ask a referendum on laws passed by Parliament – as well as the appointment of the Prime Minister by Parliament.”
Paul Krugman says, “Where everyone else bailed out the bankers and made the public pay the price, Iceland let the banks go bust and actually expanded its social safety net. Where everyone else was fixated on trying to placate international investors, Iceland imposed temporary controls on the movement of capital to give itself room to maneuver.” A special prosecutor even sued the bankers and speculators that caused the collapse of the Icelandic financial system and an “ex-cop bounty hunter” has been hired to track them down.
Their economy is now recovering. Karpova writes “The results of the Icelandic economic and social policy have been spectacular. While the European Union is in a recession, Iceland presented a growth rate of 2.1% in 2011 and provides for a rate of 2.7% for 2012, and an unemployment rate of 6%. The country even bothered to make early repayment of its debt to the IMF. The Icelandic president, Olafur Grímsson, on this economic miracle explained: ‘The difference is that in Iceland we let the banks fail. They were private institutions. We did not inject money to save them. Because the state does not have to assume this responsibility.'”
“Acting against their own forecasts, the IMF welcomed the policy of the Icelandic government – whose measures applied are totally contrary to what the Fund advocates. In fact, Iceland has a high human development index. ‘The IMF states that the rescue plan in the Icelandic mode offers lessons in times of crisis.’ The organization adds that ‘the fact that Iceland has managed to preserve the welfare of family units and achieve a far-reaching fiscal consolidation is one of the greatest achievements of the program and the Icelandic government.'” International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, recently referred to the Icelandic recovery as “impressive.”
Below are links describing this remarkable phenomena of an entire nation starting to act more like the Occupy movement than a bureaucracy controlled by financial elites.
short link – http://bit.ly/iFBAm7
Iceland is Crowdsourcing their Constitutional Convention
short link: http://bit.ly/11BGYjt
Iceland did it right… and everyone else is doing it wrong
Washington Blog, News Report
Friday 30 November 2012
(very full of links and followed by interesting comments)
Iceland Shows the Way: Reject Austerity
Lisa Karpova – Pravda (Russia)
short link: http://read.bi/Xf4F1y
Iceland Has Hired An Ex-Cop To Hunt Down The Bankers That Wrecked Its Economy
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 | Posted by Veterans Today
short link: http://bit.ly/VgIO3T
More on Iceland’s constitutional assembly:
[In Iceland] an assembly was elected to draft a new constitution that would reflect the lessons learned and replace the current one, inspired by the Danish constitution. To do this, instead of calling experts and politicians, Iceland decided to appeal directly to the people, after all they have sovereign power over the law. More than 500 Icelanders presented themselves as candidates to participate in this exercise in direct democracy and write a new constitution. 25 of them, without party affiliations, including lawyers, students, journalists, farmers and trade union representatives were elected. Among other developments, this constitution will call for the protection, like no other, of freedom of information and expression in the so-called Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, in a bill that aims to make the country a safe haven for investigative journalism and freedom of information, where sources, journalists and Internet providers that host news reporting are protected.
More on the freedom of information initiatives:
Iceland’s On-going Revolution
by Deena Stryker