Near six out of ten Icelanders consider it important to get a new constitution during the current term, more than double the number that considers it unimportant. Those who consider the issue very important increased by 8% since last year. The data is from a recent survey conducted by MMR.
Constitutional reform has been on Iceland’s agenda for years. Following the banking collapse, the country “crowdsourced” a new constitution which was handed over to Parliament. A national referendum followed, where a majority voted for the document to be used as a foundation for constitutional reform. Yet it was never adopted. Eight years later, a movement in support of that constitution is growing.
Support Doubles Among Young People
In 2019, 24% of those aged 18-29 thought getting a new constitution was very important. This year that figure almost doubled, to 46%. A popular Icelandic TikTok account aimed at educating young people on the issue has presumably had an effect among this age group.
Support for the new constitution also grew in other age groups, from 29% to 35% among those 30-49 years old and from 34% to 37% among those between 50 and 67. Women (67%) were more likely than men (51%) to say that it was important for Icelanders to get a new constitution by the end of this term, though support increased among both genders as compared to last year.
The survey was conducted between September 10 and 23 and had 2,043 respondents 18 years of age or older.
Constitution Graffiti Repainted After Removal by Authorities
Earlier this week, graffiti in downtown Reykjavík reading “Where is the new constitution?” was removed by government authorities. The graffiti has since been repainted on a different surface at the same location (see image above). The removal may have had the opposite effect of that intended – as there has been an uptick in signatures on a petition urging Iceland’s government to adopt the crowdsourced constitution Icelanders voted on in 2012. While signatures numbered around 28,500 before the graffiti was removed on Monday, they now number over 35,000.
An illustration of the incident by cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson, seen below, has been making the rounds on social media.