Sortition Experiment

Debates on this forum and elsewhere lead me to conclude that there are, broadly speaking, three schools of the thought regarding the political potential of sortition:

1. The Blind Watchmaker

According to this school of thought, outlined in Oliver Dowlen’s Political Potential of Sortition and Peter Stone’s Luck of the Draw, sortition is primarily a mechanism to defend the institutions of government from corruption and partisan influences. Although historically associated with democracy there is no necessary connection as sortition could be applied to the selection of members of any group – democratic, oligarchic, aristocratic, associational or otherwise. Such an argument requires no empirical confirmation as it is true by definition (if it didn’t work then the process would not have been properly randomised). Chance (an arational process) precludes intelligent design, hence the (Dawkins) Blind Wachmaker allusion.

True believers, however, claim that sortition can also be used to produce representative democracy, but the claims here are divided into two camps:
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Online Petitions go live on Directgov

The Guardian reports:

A new public e-petitions service has gone live on the Directgov portal, replacing the previous e-petitions system on the Downing Street website.

The new website went live on 29 July and is being operated by the Government Digital Service. The government said that public petitions which secure the backing of 100,000 signatures will be eligible for debate in Parliament.

Sir George Young, the Leader of the House of Commons, said: “The public already have many opportunities to make their voices heard in parliament, and this new system of e-petitions could give them a megaphone.
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