Voting – Sortition – Election

Gene Callahan has attended a panel about sortition and, seemingly like most people with any interest in sortition, came up with his own variant – a 3-stage process:

  1. Voting – people who get a certain number of votes go to the next stage.
  2. Random selection – of the people who made it to this stage, a certain number are selected at random and go to the next stage.
  3. Election – the people who reach this stage stand for popular elections.

If the bar in the first stage is set low enough, it may not involve mass politics – one could supposedly get to the second stage simply by getting the votes of one’s friends and acquaintances. This stage would serve to limit the sortition pool to fairly well motivated people who have some spare time on their hands. Whether this is a good filtration mechanism is unclear.

The random selection of the second stage would limit the ability of interested parties to influence the outcome of the elections by carefully selecting the candidates from the vast pool of the entire population. Taken to the extreme, there could be a single person promoted to the third stage, resulting in the elimination of the election round altogether.

Otherwise, mass political effects would rule this last stage and it may be expected that, as usual, superficialities would determine who, among the candidates, would win the elections. The winner would also be able to argue (and believe) that they deserve their position of power due to having won a competition, and such a mindset would potentially have the same corrupting influence that it does in the existing system.