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.

Everything that concerns the public could be discussed in the citizens’ parliament – not just those issues backed by hundreds of thousands of supporters. The sole aim of this model would be to make sound decisions and find solutions to problems. No one would benefit personally or feel the need to show off, and there would be no campaign speeches or empty promises. An aleatory democracy is perfect: a combination of the best of parliamentarianism and referendums.

Cui bono – to whose benefit? Almost everyone except for those in power today. If political parties and lobby groups want to remain significant within an aleatory democracy, they would have to successfully promote their vision of the future among the people so that the representatives chosen by a draw, following careful deliberation, would then choose exactly the vision of the future envisaged by the parties and lobbyists. It is of course easier to lay claim to power by courting a small number of voters.

2 Responses

  1. bbkka v kpsz zdn. vv jobmzn.


  2. Thé article is available in 7 languages ! Good to be shared!


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