A Greek proposal for ‘a parliament of the citizens’

Marta Soler writes about demonstrations in Greece:

Today (Sunday, the twelfth day of the demonstrations) there is to be a huge demonstation in Syntagma; perhaps a million people are expected. There are calls out for simultaneous demonstrations in European capitals, in Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, Berlin… But the Greek one will be the biggest. A friend – a teacher – and his wife plan specially to come from Argos (and there will be a large presence from outside Athens). The sentiment for change – and against the European Union/government – is fierce, increasing in waves.

There is no obvious leadership for this revolution. The teacher along with other intellectuals, lawyers and some former government officials is proposing a constitutional change, a fourth body, a parliament of the citizens, to meet yearly (selected by lot, so as to be not under the influence of the parties). This is an old institution, described initially by Aristotle (in the Constitution of Athens). In it, the parliamentary leader would have to explain how his policies are consistent with the promises of his campaign and benefit the people, achieve a common good. If the government has become too corrupt (as is now particularly the case), the leader and other officials can be subjected to a censure, required not to seek an additional term, and even brought to trial. My guess from listening to the discussion in Syntagma is that this would be a popular suggestion.