Iceland's Pirates Propose 10 Random People Get To Address Parliament Directly Each Month - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s Pirates Propose 10 Random People Get To Address Parliament Directly Each Month

Published October 25, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Pirate Party members of Parliament have submitted a new bill that proposes an interesting experiment in direct democracy.

The bill, co-signed by every MP for the party, proposes that ten people on the voter registry be chosen at random each month. These ten would then be permitted to address Parliament directly on any particular issue Parliament is discussing, with a maximum speaking time of two minutes. Further regulations would be decided by the Prime Minister’s committee. If passed, the bill as a new law would go into effect on the first of September 2019.

As the bill points out, there is no precedent for this proposal in any other Nordic country.

The language of the bill clarifies that citizens—the only people who can vote in parliamentary elections—would not be permitted to submit actual legislation. Rather, they would simply be allowed to give a two-minute speech to Parliament, during a parliamentary session, although only elected members of Parliament would be allowed to cast votes on legislation on this day, as always.

“The co-signed believe that with the approval of this bill, Parliament will be a guiding light in the development of democracy and public participation in politics,” the bill concludes.

The bill has only just been entered Parliament, and will need to go through committee hearings before a final vote is taken.


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