The outcome of the referendum had not been in doubt since Iceland had recently been offered better repayment terms than those contained in the deal on which residents were voting.
Partial referendum results from around a third of the cast votes showed 93 percent opposed the deal and less than 2 percent supported it. The rest cast invalid votes.
But the rejection will still have major repercussions, keeping financial aid on hold and threatening to undermine the center-left government of Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir.
“This has no impact on the life of the government. We need to keep going and finish the (Icesave) debate. We have to get an agreement,” Sigurdardottir told public television.
Global capital is really lucky that direct democracy isn’t that widespread and that regulatory capture is ubiquitous. On a microeconomic scale we know humans can operate spitefully. I won’t go into the evolutionary ideas for why this might be (though W. D. Hamilton wrote a whole paper on the evolution of spite using the inclusive fitness framework), but the inclination is strong enough obviously that you have a whole nation willing to engage on it. How’s that for systematic bias in our cognitive faculties?
The big picture problem is that for most of human history. No, for 99% of it, we’ve operated under zero sum dynamics. That crops up in human behavior, but a variety of historical events and institutions (and I consider science & technology fundamentally institutional products) have converged so that non-zero sum dynamics have produced rapid growth in productivity and post-Malthusian consumerism over the past two centuries. But there is no inevitable reason for why individual rational action should lead to positive sum outcomes; for most of human history it didn’t, for there to be some with more others had to have less. I would have to put recent financial innovation by & large into the category of dynamics which recapitulate the dynamics of the Malthusian era, moving wealth from some to others, as opposed to growing the pie (England actually banned the joint-stock corporation during the century leading up to the industrial revolution, so there is debate whether even such primitive capitalist institutions are necessary for the technological breakout).
Note: The consequences of the vote may be somewhat more symbolic than not. See the story linked above.