Dahl’s arguments against an allotted legislature

In his 1970 book, After the Revolution?, Robert A. Dahl suggests appointing by lot advisory committees for the president of the U.S., for congresspeople, for state governors and for large city mayors[1]:

Let us imagine that the membership of each advisory council were to consist of several hundred constituents picked by the same procedures used to ensure randomness in modern sample surveys; that the citizen selected would be required to serve […]; that suitable provisions would insure against hardships arising from the obligation to serve – for example, the citizen selected would not only have all relevant expenses taken care of but if he (or she) were poor or unemployed he (or she) might receive a stipend, while an employed person would continue to receive his (or her) regular pay; that one would serve for a year and be ineligible for a second term; that a council might meet at intervals for a total of several weeks in the course of a year; that it would have its own presiding officer (and a professional parliamentarian); that it would invite the elected official to meet with it, to answer questions, hear the debate and discussion…

A timid thinker would have focused on making the argument supporting such an idea against “conventional critics” who would argue that “the proposal goes too far”. Dahl, however, dismisses those critics with one paragraph, and spends the rest of the discussion (pp. 150-153) arguing against “a less conventional critic” who argues that the proposal “does not go far enough” because it does not suggest using the lot to replace elections for selecting government officials.

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