As if the government wasn’t in enough trouble with public opinion here at home, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir has publicly announced that she plans to shun the referendum tomorrow.
“To me it is pointless and I find it is very sad that the first referendum since the founding of the republic revolves around legislation that is already obsolete. Consequently I see no point in taking part in this referendum,” Jóhanna told Fréttablaðið.
Granted, that opinion is shared by many people. However, in the view of a large proportion of the Icelandic nation, and even of the world*, this referendum is about so much more. Even if this is Jóhanna’s personal opinion, stating it so publicly seems like political harakiri. Even showing up at the polling booths and handing in an empty ballot – even if she admitted to it – would be better. At least she would then be seen as a participant in the process, in touch with the rest of the nation. This way, she just seems arrogant.
But then, perhaps she just has nothing to lose.
* If RÚV removes the video it can always be viewed here, on Lára Hanna’s blog. Scroll down a little until you see the interview with Stephen Evans from the BBC.