The Newid proposal

Martin Wilding Davies invited responses to his proposal for a sortition-based government system (as he outlined it in comments to Keith Sutherland’s post on

The main features of his proposal, as I understand it, are:

  1. The system relies on two legislature bodies: the Assembly and the Forum.
  2. The Assembly is chosen as a random sample of the population and serves for a period of “up to 3 months”. Service will be mandatory and will carry some material and honorific rewards.
  3. The method of selection of Forum members is not fully specified, but it is clearly meant to be, at least to some extent, an elite body. Its term of service is not specified.
  4. The Forum will set the public policy agenda by generating legislation proposals. These will then come before the Assembly which will either accept or reject them, but will also be allowed to “amend” the proposals.
  5. Decisions in both the Forum and the Assembly will be arrived at “by consensus”.
  6. Another group with some political power will be “advocates”. These are judges who will “make the case for or against specific actions or requirements, [present] evidence, [call] expert witnesses and representatives of interest groups”.
  7. “Policy will be implemented by a professional executive recruited by headhunters and appointed, scrutinised and where necessary replaced by the National Assembly.”

Here are my thoughts: Continue reading