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Icelanders vote on Internet-picked referendum issues

Published: October 20, 2012
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Source: France 24

Coat of arms of Iceland

´╗┐Icelanders began voting Saturday on six constitutional issues including the island’s natural resources and the state church. The topics at hand were chosen through an internet contribution system, in the first vote of its kind.

Icelanders vote Saturday in a consultative referendum on six constitution-related questions posed by a committee that has relied to an unprecedented degree on Internet contributions from the island's people.

The questions to be answered by a simple yes or no include the role of the country's natural resources and of the national church in a proposed draft new constitution. Voters will also be asked whether they want the committee's proposals to form the basis of a draft constitution.

The six questions were chosen by a committee of 25 ordinary citizens elected in 2010 to review the country's constitution: they in turn took to the Internet to solicit the views of their fellow Icelanders.

The draft legislation for a new constitution was submitted to the country's parliament, the Althing, at the end of July 2011. In May this year it was decided to seek the opinion of the island's inhabitants on six issues.

The country's basic law dates back to Iceland's independence from Denmark in 1944 and it has long been accepted that it needs revision.

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