The financial crisis that hit Iceland in 2008 revealed many weaknesses inherent in the country's system of governance. One fortunate consequence of this most unfortunate revelation has been a movement to draft a new Constitution.
Iceland's crash, for which the Prime Minister has now been indicted, is another case in which networks of public-private players, purporting to serve the public interest, instead capture official information to serve their own interests.
I believe the Icelandic people are willing to undergo hardship to help our country recover from the catastrophic collapse, as long as the hardship is spread throughout the population, and those who unjustly profited from their decisions are put in their place.
I have always imagined that a totalitarian state would resemble Stalin's Soviet Union, but it has dawned on me lately that the most effective totalitarian regime would be one that no one (on the inside anyway) would recognize as such.
Our man-made crises fill our everyday lives, but we ignore natural phenomena at our peril. We lose sight of how detached from our environment we've become, how thin the veneer of civilization really is, and how fragile our bodies and our institutions really are.
A new political party -- the modestly named The Best Party (Besti Flokkurinn) -- led by comedian Jón Gnarr, has thrown a scare into Iceland's powers-that-be by receiving the most votes in Reykjavik's municipal elections yesterday.
While Icelanders have been endlessly debating IceSave, our unemployment rate has continued to climb, the number of insolvencies has continued to increase, and public services have continued to decrease.
What is especially disheartening in Iceland is that, not only did the bankers retain their compensation; they continue to draw salaries in their new positions of authority in the new banks and in the government.
It's incumbent upon the Icelandic media and political establishment to educate the public on the reasons for and against Icesave. If we're serious about fighting for political reform and transparency that our country needs, here's a good place to start.