Short refutations of common objections to sortition (part 3)

Part 1 Part 2

11. Elections are a mechanism of accountability. It allows the electorate to reward or punish those with power. There is no way to hold government accountable using sortition.

Using elections as an accountability mechanism is like a bank’s board of directors appointing a new bank manager for a 4-year term and telling him that if he steals the depositors’ money then there is some chance that he will not be re-appointed to run the bank for another term (but he will get to keep the money he took). A manager who sees his job as a means for self-enrichment is clearly better off simply taking the money. No matter how many years of service he can secure if he stays honest, his salary will never amount to what he can steal in a single term.

Besides, if the replacement managers are all as greedy as the current manager, what good would replacing the manager do?

In short, seeing elections as providing an effective means of incentivizing a government to promote the interests of the average citizen is hopelessly unrealistic. It is remarkable that this view is standard in both popular discourse and professional political science literature.

12. The training and service experiences would likely cause people to change their minds about various issues and in this way become unrepresentative.

As the allotted delegates study issues it is indeed to be expected that they will adopt views on matters that they were not aware of before, and occasionally will even come to have opinions that contradict previously held ones. In this sense the allotted become unrepresentative – they are better informed and have spent more time and effort considering various matters of policy than the average citizen does.
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