Popular Discussion of National Affairs There is a strong level of general interest in politics in Iceland. People will gladly debate politics together at home, work, and in cafés, not to mention the hot pots at the swimming pools where lively political discussions often occur. This general level of participation is also evident in the media: everyday, lots of articles about burning issues by people of all backgrounds appear in the big daily papers – social issues, educational issues, the environment, foreign affairs, or particular community matters.
One might say that all these debates make little progress, with people vehemently shouting over the top of each other without acknowledging their opponent’s point. Still, this opportunity for the public to air their views (in the papers f.ex.), as well as their willingness to do so, is probably unique.