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16.12.12

The Icelandic example


"Small independent countries in northern Europe have fared well".

It's a refreshing message indeed when you consider that 'you're too small and too dependent to survive alone' is what we usually get from state governments and their establishments. Dominated by a majority national group - English, French, Spanish etc - is it any wonder that the concerns of a smaller national group within the same state are brushed aside or attacked without reason.

Firstly, there are plenty of independent states and autonomous regions that have a population, surface area or even both smaller than our mineral rich Cornwall. 

Secondly, what do they mean when they say alone? Is being part of an ever more integrated and federal European Union alone? Perhaps here we see one of the reasons why our current right-wing ConDem government is methodically severing our ties with the EU; and here's me thinking the LibDems were European federalists.

The Icelandic example certainly provides plenty of food for thought for other stateless nations in their quest for greater self-determination.

To follow the Icelandic experiment with democracy more closely you can find a section of articles at OpenDemocracy.

After the financial crash that wrecked the island's economy in 2008, Icelanders took to the streets with pots and pans to demand a new political and economic order. Their wish was granted in the form of a new, 'crowdsourced' constitution, drafted by a Constitutional Council whose members were ordinary citizens. In October 2008, Icelanders accepted the draft in a landslide referendum. What can we - and the European Union! - learn from the Icelandic constitutional experiment?

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