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CHAT: R: CHAT: Democracy

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Sunday, August 27, 2000, 19:24
> Mike Adams wrote: > > > I think alot of what he meant was Iceland is the longest current > > existing Democracy, especially since Greece has only recently become a > > democracy, [...] > > That's not true, though. If you accept universal manhood suffrage as a > reasonable metric of democracy, then the US has been close to a democracy > since about the 1820s or 1830s or so, far before any other developed > nation. The only exception to that rule is if you count the slaves, which
> granted, a very large exception. At the same time in Britain, however,
> was a huge debate over the extension of the franchise from *5%* to *7%* > of the adult population. The property requirement for parliamentary > elections in France under the restored monarchy was similarly high, IIRC. > > Compare this to Iceland. Iceland has only been an independent state since > 1944, when it naturally chose a democratic constitution. It can hardly > be said to be an old, lineally descended democracy when it did not even > exist, diplomatically speaking, until well into the 20th century.
But the Alþing was founded in 930. And it has worked for more than 1000 years without great interrumptions. And if you read some sagas you'll find out how did the system work in democracy, with the various 'godar' (sp?) representing different regions and parts of the population. Luca