The National Assembly – a bold experiment in direct democracy – was held this past weekend, and generated a significant turnout.
In all, 1,231 guests came to Laugardalshöll stadium to express what they felt were the most pressing issues of the day, what comprises the national character, in which direction Iceland should steer its future, and more. More men than women took part, with the attendance comprised of 53% of the former and 47% of the latter.
Most of those who attended were between the ages of 45 and 54, while those 17 and 24 were least in attendance. Also, Reykjavík residents represented the largest proportion of those present, while Icelanders from the northeast of the country represented themselves the least.
“The purpose was to hear the voice of the people and we think that the results reflect that,” reads a statement from Larus Ymir Oskarsson, one of the spokesmen of the National Assembly. According to the results, “[i]ntegrity is the value the representatives of the National Assembly considered most important for society. Equal rights, respect and justice follow. Next are love, responsibility, freedom, sustainability and democracy. The family, equality and trust are also high priorities.”