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.

2 Responses

  1. Why Sortition?

    First, what is sortitioned leadership?

    Sortition is where science meets politics. Sortition is a grass roots finding tool. It mathematically and scientifically duplicates, in smaller populations, the larger America. It does not discriminate, period. There is no gender, ethnic, economic, religious, or political discrimination. It goes a big step further. There is also no discrimination by “resume”, “education”, “intelligence”, “beauty”, or “charisma”. Sortition finds 100% grass roots America, the bottom line, the common sense, the no-holds-barred America.

    The primary mission of government is to set priorities. Priorities determine law, policy, and enforcement. Faulty priority creates failed law, bad policy, and misguided enforcement. Faulty priority leads to failure.

    The primary mission of sortitioned leadership is not law, policy, or enforcement. It is the input and maintenance of proper government priority and genuine grass-roots civilian culture and civility. Priority maintenance is no small task. Witness Massey and BP slide away from safety. Witness war on terror morph into nation building. Witness financial markets morph into casinos. Witness democracy warp to oligarchy. Priority maintenance is no small thing. Faulty priority leads to failure.

    The primary asset of sortitioned leadership is scientifically represented citizen life experience, knowledge, and values. “Resume”, “education”, “intelligence”, and “beauty” are “weighed in” only at existing population levels. Priority is determined by life experience, belief, and values. Priority maintenance is the specialty of sortitioned leadership.

    Sortitioned leadership is the “conscience” behind government. It is grass-roots values, beliefs, and motives empowered to guide, mentor and coach government.

    Government without “conscience” is tyranny. Sortitioned leadership provides government with both “conscience” and a “soul”.

    Step it up, America.

    Citizen is coach to team democracy. Coach is responsible for success. It’s your call, coach.
    Presidential Candidate (for one of 9 executive branch presidents) 2016


  2. “Looking at a possible structure of system integrating the the principles of demarchy, I think that one would want to keep an elected (by universal suffrage) executive, and use sortition to create a legislature who’s powers are somewhat more restricted than most are now. In short, the legislature’s function would be only to hear arguments for and vote on initiatives brought before them by the executive, with no, or very limited, power to initiate bills themselves.”

    Whilst I agree with the second sentence, the first one strikes me as fundamentally confused. The role of the executive is to govern; the role of the legislature is to legislate (this is what the words mean). If the organising principle of the executive is competence then they should be appointed. Given the modern view that legislation should reflect the popular will then by all means have elections for policy advocates and then judge their bills in an allotted assembly. But it’s a conceptual error to refer to policy advocates as the “executive”.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: