Jun 14, 2011 5:22 PM by Andy Koen

Drafting a constitution on Facebook

In modern day Iceland everyone can be James Madison or Thomas Jefferson. The citizens of the North-Atlantic nation are drafting a new constitution and they're opening debate over document to the public via social media. Serving in place of the State House of Philadelphia are Facebook, Twitter, Fllickr and YouTube.

When Iceland gained independence from Denmark in 1944 the nation simply adopted the Danish constitution with a few minor changes. For example, the work "king" was replaced with the word "president."

In the years since, the document has had seven amendments and each passed with little public input. Then in 2008, the banks collapsed, the currency crashed and protesters overthrew the government.

A 25 member constitutional drafting committee is charged with actually writing the document. However, much of the content is coming from Icelanders themselves. In order to participate, members of the public must provide their name and address. Submissions are approved by staff members to avoid heckling.

A draft bill is expected by late July. It will then be sent to Iceland's parliament for debate and approval.


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