We Icelanders voted in a NON-BINDING referendum, where the first question was "yes / no, I want / do not want the proposals from the public constitutional congress to be used as the basis for a parliamentary referendum for a new constitution". It is then explicitly stated on the voting card that the proposals may change in the process of being worked into a parliamentary referendum for a new constitution - which then again must be approved not once but twice by two separately elected parliaments (i.e. voted through in parliament, parliament dissolved, voted in again, and the referendum approved again there).
Headline is FALSE and misleading.
— edit: that said, I support the establishment of a new constitution, and I like a lot of things in the proposals. There are also some things I do not like. The proposals need work to become fit to be a constitution, that's for sure.
This sounds like a fantastic idea, but it would be problematic in the US, I think. My opinion is that we're too large a population and too disengaged/disenfranchised for it to be truly representative. Perhaps a bit too polarized, as well.
However, the U.S. legislative body is not based on a parliamentary system such as existed in Britain or the Iceland. While the Althing is probably historically relevant to countries which adopted the parliamentary system, it is of little to no relevance to a Congressional-based government.
However the Althing is a natural outgrowth of the Germanic tradition of a þing (usually transliterated as "thing"), which appeared in England as the wapentake. The legal traditions that were established there survived as common practice, forming the roots behind common law. Thus the Althing is closely related to the legal tradition from which we derive contracts, torts, and so on.
Having an open and living document this way is the only way to constantly update. Unlike our system where no politician is going to admit wrong.
On an unrelated note, Athens during the golden age hat around 300k inhabitants. Of course, nearly half of them were slaves, and less than 10% of them got to vote.
God bless technology. Without it we would run the risk of letting less and average normal people have a say.
The potential for abuse and fraud in a computerized referendum like this is tremendous.
Even if you trust Facebook and Twitter (which you shouldn't), they are open to being hacked and sockpuppeted.
Of course none of these risks are even mentioned in the story, as the uncritical, thoughtless media just eat it up.
There was no form of voting. Just discussion, serving as input for the deliberations of the council.
It's a nation of 300k people, of which only a fraction of course involves themselves with political discourse. I don't think there was any room for gaming or abusing the system here.
Edit: I am an Icelander and cast my vote in this last Saturday.