A model of peaceful revolution
There are not many “peaceful” revolutions in the history of mankind, especially during the last decades of our modern history. Even if we think to join this two words : revolution and peaceful, it does sound a bit unusual.
This is the reason why I chose to write about this example of totally atypical revolution, happened recently in Iceland. In my opinion, the Icelandic Revolution is an example of the fact that a revolution doesn’t have to be violent and bloody but peaceful and civilized and with a positive approach things can be changed in order to improve the status quo and to create a better standard of life.
There were also other movements also called “peaceful”, as it is a new paradigm, but still…nothing like Iceland.
One of the characteristics that made this revolution so atypical is its duration. It all started in 2008, when the main bank of Iceland was nationalized, the currency of Iceland devaluated and the stock market halted. The country was in bankruptcy. During 2008 – 2009 as a result of the citizen’s protests and demonstrations, both the prime minster and the whole government resigned. New elections were held. In spite of these changes, Iceland remained in a bad economic situation.
A Parliament act was passed in order to pay back 3,500 million Euros to Great Britain and Holland by the people of Iceland monthly during the next 15 years, with 5.5% interest.
In 2010, the people of Iceland demanded a referendum in this matter. In January of 2010, the President of Iceland denied approval of this act, instead announcing a popular vote in order to consult the people on this matter.
In March 2010, a referendum and denial of payment was approved by popular vote of 93%. Meanwhile, government officials initiated an investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the crisis. Many high level executives and bankers were arrested. Interpol dictated an order to force all implicated parties to leave Iceland.
An assembly was then elected to write a new constitution in order to avoid entrapments of debt based currency foreign loans. Twenty-five citizens were chosen in this regard — with no political affiliation — out of the 522 candidates. The only qualifications for candidacy are adulthood and the support of 30 people. The constitutional assembly started its activity in February, 2011. It continues to present “carta magna” from recommendations provided by various assemblies throughout the country. Ultimately, it must be approved by both the current Parliament and the one created through the next legislative election.
In my opinion, in Romania one of the biggest problems is bad management of the country at the political level. The political regime seems to be forgotten about its mission – to represent the people’s interest and to work for the nation welfare. Our rulers and political leaders must learn to put the needs of the population ahead the economic interests or any other kind of interests.
The Icelandic Revolution talks about courage, boldness, responsibility and most of all about acting together to the benefit of the whole nation. At the same time, it is also a good example of democracy and economic development since the country managed to improve its economic status in spite of the international crisis.
This is the most important lesson that Romanian youth could learn from this example.
During the last two years, young people from Romania have learned to say no and go out in the streets to protest and fight for their beliefs (example: in 2012 there were big demonstrations against the results of the referendum to suspend the President Basescu and in 2013 the protests against the “Rosia Montana affair”). This were two important steps, but is necessary to keep this trend and to take action.
Although the Icelandic Revolution was an important event in the world’s international context and it really made a difference, somehow it never had a big impact in the media. It seems that the press coverage was not so extended and the international media somehow neglected to report about it. The Icelandic Revolution could have a huge impact on other nations as well and this is a “dangerous” aspect because their successful story can be imported.
In conclusion, the Icelandic Revolution is a good and positive example and a source of inspiration both for Romanian youth and for other countries as well.