Sunday, March 7, 2010

Unanimity - Do the elites even care?

So, Iceland officially said "No" to the UK/Netherlands repayment request. 
According to results released Sunday, just over 93 per cent of voters said “no” in Saturday's ballot, while only 1.8 per cent voted “yes.” The rest were blank or spoiled ballots. The results were based on a count of all but 2,500 of the 143,784 votes cast.
Good on the Icelandic voters; the results were a virual unanimous decision by the people.  The deposits of foreign investors were NOT officially covered by the banks, as such the depositor assumes a degree of risk in chasing yield.  The general public should not be held accountable for ridiculous risk practices of Iceland's banks (especially when the deposits were never legally covered by the bank nor the government). The UK/Dutch governments reimbursed their depositors and assumed they could just bully tiny Iceland into repaying them.  They assumed wrong.
Despite the vote, the Icelandic government said it would continue talks with Britain and the Netherlands on a new agreement.
Translation:  None of the politicians inside or outside of Iceland give a shit about the vote and will negotiate some type of convoluted backroom deal with the British/Dutch that is complicated enough to confuse the average voter, and then will ram that deal through, voters be damned.
He said, however, the British and Dutch would get their money back eventually. The two countries have already offered Iceland more favorable repayment terms than the deal voted on Saturday.
“The referendum was not about refusing to pay back the money,” Mr. Grimsson told the BBC. “Iceland is willing to reimburse those two governments, but it has to be on fair terms.”
 Really? I'd be interested in seeing how a repayment plan more favourable than "we're not paying you" works.
Last-minute talks on Icesave broke down last week, despite the debtor countries saying they had offered better terms for a new deal — including a significant cut on the 5.5 percent interest rate in the original deal.
That would have required each Icelander to pay around $135 a month for eight years — about a quarter of an average four-member family's salary.
A quarter of their salary?  Ridiculous!  Clearly, they will attempt some new deal that is modestly more affordable...but will inevitably result in working class Icelanders, their children and grandchildren assuming this debt.  Way to sell your children into debt serfdom.
Despite the referendum result, both sides said they were confident a deal would eventually be reached.
The voting public just voted against this deal at a ratio of over 50:1 against this deal.  And that somehow suggest just a few minor "tweaks" to work out the deal?   A vote skewed that much is akin to trying change 2nd Amendment rules in US red states, making Judiasm the national religion in Arab nations, or banning Catholism in the Vatican.

If voters can be unanimous in rejecting this and politicians ram this through anyways, democracy simply doesn't function.  You simply have a dictatorial state ruled by the elite class, but you throw the public "votes" to make it appear that it's something else.  The trouble is, eventually the public figures out that the rule of law simply doesn't mean much when it doesn't apply to everyone, and they simply start to take matters into their own hands...

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