Time for a new republic

While the politicians are scavenging through the ruins trying to salvage what they can of their mess, others are thinking out of the box.

Njordur P. Njardvik is a writer and an honorary professor who has spoken up about Iceland pressing the “restart button”. That we should create a new republic and leave the old system behind. He points to the example of France which is in its “Fifth Republic”, the last one from the ascent of De Gaulle.

In the creation of a new Icelandic republic we could ensure the division between the branches of government unlike today where the executive branch rules the others. The powerless presidency could be given a purpose.

Njordur expresses a valid concern, that the current situation is perfect for demagogues to prosper.

I have been arguing in Christmas gatherings that the Icelandic republic  has not had a discussion about the values on which it is supposed to be founded. The constitution is not a centerpiece of our value-system like in the US for example.

I would argue that although Icelanders are entrepreneurial and individualistic in their core, they would place a large emphasis on health-care and education not being privatized to the point where the US finds itself. But these are things that need to be discussed. Currently there are ideologues like our minister of health running around unchecked, privatizing the health industry just because he had a thing for Thatcher in high school.

Njordur’s ideas are brilliant. Hopefully people like him make themselves available for us to elect them to the parliament. That’s where the reset button is currently most needed.

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1 Response to “Time for a new republic”


  1. 1 Kjartan January 13, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Though I don’t neccessarily agree with his (Njarðvík’s) proposals in detail, it is painfully obvious that he’s right. We need a new constitution and a new republic. I think the most pressing issue we have to deal with now is how to achieve that goal and how to agree on what we want to stand for. Because we haven’t stood for anything up to now.


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