The way in which the greatest ambitions sometimes appear in an intense desire to achieve very limited goals can be quite stunning. Look at the constitutional bill, here in Iceland. It’s been created in a highly unusual way, through open consultation between a first elected, then appointed, council and the public. It has evoked interest and generated a lot of discussion around the world. It is a fully passable constitutional text, with some issues disputed on legal grounds, other on political grounds, but nothing more serious than would be expected in any case. Yet the person who could lead it to a conclusion by having the parliament vote on it, and who could – probably – see to it that it was passed, to be followed by a national referendum and a second vote in parliament after the upcoming elections, has decided in the name of a wider agreement, to stop, knowing that in all probability, that is the end of the project. It is the recently elected leader of the Social democrats who believes that this way of handling will help him achieve his goal, which is to become Prime minister or at least be a part of the government after the elections. It is surely a legitimate goal, but it is a local modest goal. There is no visible ambition to achieve anything bigger or greater than that. But when your greatest goal is to become a prime minister in your country, or at least get a ministerial post, what do you care about other goals?

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