So, old deCode Genetics, best known for mapping the Icelandic genome and also for the best PR stunt in Icelandic history,* has joined forces with Eyjan and designed a special online voting system allowing the Icelandic public to vote on whether or not they want parliament to accept the sovereign guarantee on Icesave. [Yes yes, Icesave is still being pushed and shoved around the endless labyrinth that is the Icelandic parliamentary process and every Icelander I know is ready to vomit at the mention of it].
deCode recently went bankrupt [and I mean really really this time – they’d been teetering on the edge of the bankruptcy abyss for years] and was bought by an American concern. Clearly this marks some kind of departure for the company since reportedly they now wish to continue to design these kinds of referendum mechanisms to facilitate direct democracy. Data is encrypted to ensure that no one can be identified and no one can vote twice. Every Icelander gets sent a login code to their online bank account [clearly this presumes that every single Icelander banks online] and can then proceed with the voting.
It will be interesting to see what emerges from the Icesave vote, which ends on Thursday. A recent opinion poll showed that around 70% of the Icelandic public** wants the president to veto the law if the bill for the sovereign guarantee is passed in parliament, which will most likely not happen until the very end of this month [parliamentarians are being forced to work between Christmas and New Year’s this year – no leisurely three-week holiday this time around like last year when the Independence Party ruled], at the earliest. Several years ago he vetoed a highly unpopular media bill [involving two of the disgraced moguls], on the grounds it had created a wide chasm between the government and the people. This time around the chasm is even wider – and the stakes for the president are considerably higher. In other words, he’s in a serious pickle. Stay tuned.
ANOTHER AMAZINGLY MILD DAY
With temps around 10°C like yesterday. There was hardly any wind, so the smog in the city was palpable and I’m willing to bet my Icesave vote that it was above acceptable safety levels [which, alas, happens not infrequently around here]. It is 7°C [41F], the sun rose at 11.13 and set at 3.29.
* In the form of Íslendingabók, which you can read about here [scroll down just a little].
** Personally I think this is rather high, see “ready to vomit” remark, above. I know at least as many people who just wants parliament to pass the damn thing already so we can STOP talkingthinkingfretting about it. Which makes it even more interesting to see the results.