The Icelandic Pirate Party has put forth a parliamentary bill proposing that each month, up to ten Icelandic citizens shall be allowed to address parliament on a current topic. Each address can be up to two minutes in duration, and the citizens will be selected randomly from the voter roll.
According to the bill, there is no precedent within the Nordic countries for voters being able to address their parliaments directly, though Denmark does give people the opportunity to put forth a special citizens’ bill, as long as 50,000 signatures are provided.
The proposal also clarifies that the bill is not suggesting voters can put forth their own bills, only that they can address parliament on a matter currently under discussion. It furthermore states that “it is the assessment of the co-signed that the changes proposed in this bill will strengthen the democratic activity of parliament.”
There is a precedent for an individual outside the umbrella of government addressing the parliament, the bill points out. Last summer Pia Kjærsgaard, Speaker of the Danish Parliament, gave an address before the Icelandic parliament at Þingvellir national park.
“The co-signed believe that if this bill is passed, Parliament will serve as an example to others in the strengthening of democracy and the political involvement of the public,” the proposal concludes.