Yet another kleroterion reference in mass media

This is becoming so commonplace that it may be time to launch a “sortition media index” instead of having separate posts. But, for now, here is another mass media reference to sortition, this time from the Arizona Daily Star. The two-paragraph pro and con analysis is pretty perceptive, I think:

to heck with voting

History magazine had a recent piece about an ancient Greek machine that was an early forerunner to the lottery system.

A kleroterion ensured absolute randomness in picking men to sit on juries and to perform other civic duties.

Presumably, a council of 500 would serve for precisely one term, ferreting out the answers to sticky problems.

Huh. A lottery instead of elections. Less posturing for the next race could spell less gridlock. There could be less likelihood of ingrained corruption. There might be a greater cross-section of the community instead of picks made by a fraction of voting-age people.

There could be downsides, too. Less institutional memory might strengthen the role of lobbyists or tempt those seated to reinvent the wheel every year.

The reference to History magazine is apparently with regard to an item which Google Alerts caught back in July.

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