If Pall Stefánsson thinks that Iceland has the world’s worst politicians, he should spend some time in Canada. He might change his mind.
I think that the proposal reported for the new Icelandic constitution, to introduce at least an element of voter choice into the voting system, may be helpful. I believe that voters need to be able to determine not only how many seats a party gets, but which of its candidates fill those seats.
In Sweden, voters can optionally influence the positions of candidates on the regional party lists.
In Finland the voters must vote for one candidate on the regional list of their preferred party.
The number of votes for all of a party’s candidates determines the number of seats the party gets in the regional constituency. The number of votes obtained by the party’s candidates separately, determines which candidates fill the party’s seats in the constituency.
In Ireland and Malta, and some jurisdictions in Australia and (some local elections in) Britain, the single transferable vote is used to elect legislators from multi-seat (three to 12 seats) constituencies. Voters vote for candidates, and party affiliation is just one of the criteria they use to evaluate candidates (though usually the most important one).
Most voters can participate in the final selections even if their preferred candidate can’t get elected, or doesn't need their support to win.
Canada has a crude and primitive voting system, in which the number of seats won by a party does not accurately reflect the number of votes it gets. As a result we have crude and primitive politicians.
Iceland has a better voting system that could stand improvement. Many people around the world have admired the way that Iceland dealt with its financial crisis, but I marvel that the party that presided over the kreppa seems to be leading in popularity.
Methods of financing politics can be improved, but this note is long enough.
Douglas Woodard, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada