The Blind Break and the Invisible Hand, Part 3: Consent

Although Peter Stone has asked us not to cite from his draft conference paper, this forum is really just an extension of the debate at the University of London workshop, so I would rather quote it verbatim than run the risk of paraphrasing it and getting it wrong. The following quote is taken from the concluding paragraph (p.16):

If democracy is supposed to be about government by consent of the governed, for example, then sortition looks like an obvious dead end. The arguments for taking elections to represent such consent are quite telling; citizens are thought to consent to be governed by elected officials even if they voted against those officials, or failed to vote at all. But however tenuous the link between election and government by consent, the link between sortition and government by consent is even weaker. There is no sense in which citizens can be said to have done anything to consent to randomly-selected officials; indeed, the whole point of randomization is to remove any opportunity by citizens to influence the selection process.

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