From Iceland — More Doubts Cast Upon Anti-Icesave Petition

More Doubts Cast Upon Anti-Icesave Petition

Published February 18, 2011

Attempts made to verify the veracity of signatures on a petition calling for the president to veto the newly-passed Icesave law have fallen short and prove nothing, says a professor of political science.
As has been reported, the online petition at – started earlier this week and so far at about 40,000 signatures – has had its reliability questioned. One Icelandic blogger pointed out, for instance, that it was possible to sign multiple times, and use a false name.
Vísir reports that this prompted the petition organisers to test the credibility of the petition, first by comparing the names and identity numbers to those in the National Registry, and to call a sample of people from the petition to ask them if they had signed it.
While 93.2% of those called confirmed that they had signed the petition, it has come to light that the organisers only called 100 people of 38,000.
“This says exactly nothing,” political science professor at the University of Iceland Svanur Kristjánsson told Vísir. “It is better to do nothing than to publish this kind of information and pretend it means something.”
He pointed out that telephone surveys done in Iceland, in the interests of statistical accuracy, call at least 800 people. Gallup polls often contact anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 people.
Nonetheless, petition organisers gave the signatures to the president today, contending that the list is representative of how many people in Iceland oppose the Icesave law being signed.

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