Yesterday, ten MPs from the Social Democratic Party presented a bill to Iceland’s Althingi parliament on extensive amendments to the election laws, enabling the majority of voters, in a single municipality and on a national scale, to demand new elections.
Helgi Hjörvar was the first to discuss the bill. “This matter has been in preparation ever since the Reykjavík City Council crisis.” Hjörvar said that the incident had made it clear that voters need a democratic recourse to impel changes, Fréttabladid reports.
Hjörvar added that the idea behind the amendment is not to make it an active part of the election system because stability of an administration is just as important as democracy. “This right for voters would provide the government with restraint.”
The current loud demand for new general elections is encouraging for the bill, Hjörvar said. “We see the importance of protestors having clear democratic opportunities to gather support for their causes because people feel powerless if democracy is only active every four years.”
Hjörvar explained that people used to think that the people in charge were better informed than the public and that they were therefore better qualified for making decisions.
“But in today’s educated information society these arguments don’t apply because voters are just as able to identify the need for elections as their elected representatives,” Hjörvar concluded.