Ordinary Citizens to be Invited to Address Parliament Skip to content

Ordinary Citizens to be Invited to Address Parliament

By Gréta Sigríður Einarsdóttir

Pirate Party MPs have proposed a bill suggesting that every month ten citizens be allowed to address parliament about current events, RÚV reports. Each address would not take more than two minutes and the speakers would be randomly chosen from the voting registry.

In a report accompanying the bill, it’s stated that in the Nordic countries, there’s no precedent for voters speaking at parliament and that Icelandic laws don’t allow for it either. Suggestions have been made about how to increase the influence of ordinary citizens over the operations of parliament. The Constitutional Council had suggested that voters could suggest items of business for parliamentary discussion. This bill does not propose that voters can suggest items of business, only that they can address the parliamentary gathering.

There’s precedent for other people than members of parliament, ministers, or the President to address parliament, such as the address by Pia Kjærsgaard, president of the Danish parliament, at the celebratory gathering of parliament at Þingvellir this summer. Her address was contested in the media due to her controversial political opinions.

Björn Leví Gunnarsson, Pirate party MP, told RÚV that the goal is to bring Parliament closer to the people and vice versa – it is democratic to allow voters to address parliament.

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