Support for sortition by pseudonymous Canadians

RJ, “a life long citizen of Edmonton”, and DV82XL, “a 57 year old semi-retired male living in one of the oldest towns in Quebec that now is a suburb of Montreal”, offer, separately, advocacy for sortition:

Sortition, is the method of selecting decision makers from a pool of candidates by some form of lottery. In Ancient Athenian democracy, sortition was the primary method for appointing officials, and its use was widely regarded as a principal characteristic of democracy. There were thousands of public offices chosen this way; and in almost all cases, an individual could hold a given office only once. Athens was a state run almost entirely by amateurs. There were no professional politicians; no professional lawyers or judges, no professional civil service. The Athenians believed sortition to be more democratic than elections. A citizen-wide lottery scheme for public office lowered the threshold to office. Ordinary citizens did not have to compete against more powerful or influential adversaries in order to take office nor did it favour those who had pre-existing advantages or connections.

I’ve always thought that sortition, from a pool of pre-qualified candidates would be the best way to select representatives. I would also see the use of policy juries, where the pros and cons of a particular piece of legislation would be examined by adversarial debate among the interested parties, with the jury (again randomly selected) deciding if the bill was passed or killed.

However it is unlikely that any real overhaul of government will occur in my lifetime. Good enough is always the enemy of better.