Changes To Election System Proposed - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Changes To Election System Proposed

Published July 27, 2011

The Constitutional Committee approved a few changes to Icelandic election law, to be detailed in a draft of the new constitution.
The Icelandic voting system has been a matter of contention for many years, with numerous ideas bandied about regarding what is wrong with the system, and how it could be fixed. Many of the main issues include districting, the weight of one’s vote depending on where one lives, and voting for individuals versus parties.
RÚV now reports that the committee has proposed a number of changes to the election system and included them in their draft of the constitution. These changes include:
One person, one vote. As it is, the vote of someone living in the countryside carries more weight than someone living in the capital. This was originally done to keep the government from being too “Reykjavík-centric”. With this change, one vote would equal one vote, regardless if someone lives in the capital or the countryside.
The entirety of the country can be made into one voting district, if parliament so chooses. Currently, there are six voting districts: three in the capital area, and three in the countryside. Parliament will not be permitted to make more than eight voting districts.
Candidates can represent either a district or the entire country.
Voters will be able to vote for candidates from numerous political parties at a time. As it is, voters are required to vote solely within one political party, although they are not required to be registered members of any party to vote for them.
The first draft of the new constitution is expected to be submitted to parliament in the coming weeks.


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