Ben Saunders: Combining Lotteries and Voting

Ben Saunders wrote a comment on Claudio López-Guerra’s The Enfranchisement Lottery:

Combining Lotteries and Voting

In recent years, a number of theorists have turned to the Athenian practice of sortition to inspire proposals for democratic reform. Some simply propose that politicians can be appointed by random selection, thereby producing a statistically representative sample of the population (Callenbach and Phillips, 2008). Others, however, seek some way of combining lotteries with the more familiar modern practice of voting. I shall confine my comments to two recent proposals. López-Guerra (2011) suggests abolishing universal suffrage, instead having only a randomly-selected sub-set of the populace vote in elections. Continue reading

A paper and a review by Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders has a paper and a review recently published:

  • Democracy, Political Equality, and Majority Rule, published in Ethics Vol. 121, No. 1 (October 2010), pp. 148-177. Abstract: Democracy is commonly associated with political equality and/or majority rule. This essay shows that these three ideas are conceptually separate, so the transition from any one to another stands in need of further substantive argument, which is not always adequately given. It does this by offering an alternative decision-making mechanism, called lottery voting, in which all individuals cast votes for their preferred options but, instead of these being counted, one is randomly selected and that vote determines the outcome. This procedure is democratic and egalitarian, since all have an equal chance to influence outcomes, but obviously not majoritarian.
  • Book Review of Barbara Goodwin’s Justice by Lottery, published in The Journal of Value Inquiry, Volume 44, Number 4, 553-556.