“We need to scrap elections and have lotteries to select officeholders”

A recent discussion on DemocraticUnderground.com:

Face it, virtually no one can get elected without prostituting themselves out to big business or the rich. The Citizens United case made it impossible to ever elect an honest, competent person who will represent the people. What we need is a lottery system that selects people at random, say from their social security numbers.

5 Responses

  1. It really shows that sortition is a “natural” phenomenon when everyone who has this idea thinks they have dreamed it up purely on account of their own intellectual brilliance, only to discover later that they are reinventing a very worn wheel. It almost makes you want to believe in Platonic forms.


  2. Ireland has had what electoral reformers crave: STV.(Single Transferable Vote) The result is TDs who tend closely to their constituents’ needs, because of their need to get re-elected. Big national issues are left to the ruling clique, with the results that are now clear for all to see.

    So even with the best of electroral systems in a small politically articulate republic (ie Ireland) corruption and calamity is hard-wired. The case for ‘republican’ (or as we would say Athenian) reform is overwhelming.

    I’m reading Fintan O’Toole’s ‘Enough is is Enough’ at the minute, a follow up to his ‘Ship of Fools’. Great stuff, brilliant analysis of what went wrong in the Celtic Tiger. Sadly he doesn’t get it about reforms needed.


  3. Great post. Subject succinctly put. For years only one other kindred spirit was known to me. Now the NET with its wonderful attributes and its brilliant contributors has opened the dialogue for a spectacular move for a truly representative government. To ballyhoo our “agenda” for Election by Lottery and until a better slogan comes along in the genre of “WHO IS JOHN GALT” I’m promoting GO TO EL. Sure has more pizazz and meaning than the old W.i.N. buttons foisted on us by Gerald Ford. hdh


  4. Sortition is a central part of reform.

    When service in a restaurant suffers, more waiters are needed. When fire breaks out everywhere, more fire fighters are needed. When crime becomes rampant, more police are needed. When democracy morphs to elected oligarchy and America lacks governance, send help to the few surviving democratic representatives. More representatives are needed. More presidents are needed. The antidote to corruption of power is disbursement of power. Step it up, America. Be proactive. Check out plan-b.

    Citizen is coach to team democracy. Coach is responsible for success. It’s your call, coach.



    Seeking presidential candidate (for one of 9 elected executive branch presidents) 2016


  5. > More representatives are needed. More presidents are needed. The antidote to corruption of power is disbursement of power.

    Unfortunately, there is no reason to think that wider distribution of power can be achieved simply by increasing the number of representatives or presidents. Increasing the number of office holders does not translate into more evenly spread power since power hierarchies form within large groups. As it is there is a hierarchy of power within Congress, where few Congresspeople hold much more power than others due to their ability to control voting blocks.

    If it were straightforward to create political equality within large groups, representation would be unnecessary and “direct democracy” would be an effective and democratic system of government.


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