“Down with Elections!” A Pure Sortition Proposal, Part 1

This is my latest thinking on the subject, and rather long-winded, I’m afraid, so I’m posting it in six parts.

Some of it is reheated leftovers, my apologies, but my mind works slowly, I have to save it labour if I can. For the same reason, the title has been pressed into service again.

It’s written for the general public, not the erudite intellectuals of this forum, but I’d like to know if there are any errors of fact, in fact any suggestions would be welcome.

DOWN WITH ELECTIONS!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

PART 1

Introduction

“DOWN WITH ELECTIONS!”?

How could anyone except a would-be dictator be so stupid, so irresponsible, or so perverse as to wish to see the end of elections?

In the developed and supposedly democratic world, we are accustomed to think that freedom and democracy, if not quite synonymous, go hand in hand; that one is not possible without the other. We assume, usually without giving the matter much thought, that elections are necessary for democracy and that they guarantee freedom.

It is easy enough to see why this assumption is so common.
Continue reading

The January Parliament

The Week:

The January Parliament: marking 750 years of British democracy

On 20 January 1265, knights, burgesses and aldermen met in London for the first real parliament in British history. Of course, the representatives were ‘elected’ in a far less democratic way than they are now, but the meeting is still seen by academics as the birth of British parliaments.

The January Parliament was summoned by French-born noble Simon de Montfort.

Montfort ordered each county of England to send two knights, says the Telegraph. Towns were asked to send two burgesses and two aldermen. The delegates were ‘elected’ locally – in some cases chosen by lot.