Timo Rieg: Why a citizen’s parliament chosen by lot would be ‘perfect’

Sortition makes an appearance in the German public discourse. swissinfo.ch has an English translation of a German article which proposes short-term allotted bodies with decision making power whose agenda is externally determined. The article’s author is described as follows:

Timo Rieg, a German journalist and biologist. He developed and tested the “Youth Citizens Jury”, a form of youth parliament in which members are selected through a draw. He is the author of 18 books. His most recent publication, Democracy for Germany, examines a combination of citizens’ parliament, a directly elected government and referendums.

An excerpt from the article:

‘Citizens’ parliament’

One could firmly establish [a] procedure, which could be called the “citizens’ parliament”. Week by week, 200 new members, selected each time by a draw, could meet in the citizen’s parliament. They could listen to experts and lobbyists in a plenary session, have discussions with their jury and small groups, ask questions, suggest changes and entrust the governing authority to make improvements.

The outcome of this process would be a clear recommendation, a law (or its repeal), and the result is, unlike today’s parliament, always representative! Thus the citizen’s parliament is a “mini-populus”, an almost exact miniature replica of the general public.

All schools of thought, all social backgrounds, all occupations, artistic interests and hobbies would be proportionally represented. No one and nothing would be forgotten, and yet it’s both technically and financially a manageable size.
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