2016 review – statistics

Below are some statistics about the seventh year of Equality-by-Lot. Comparable numbers for last year can be found here.

2016 Page views Posts Comments
Jan 1,664 8 161
Feb 1,573 11 153
Mar 2,075 20 173
Apr 1,699 12 128
May 1,534 9 78
June 1,818 9 66
July 1,961 7 87
Aug 1,978 9 91
Sept 2,367 11 181
Oct 2,905 8 212
Nov 2,966 8 139
Dec (to 29th) 2,232 8 58
Total 24,772 120 1,527

Note that page views do not include visits by logged-in contributors – the wordpress system does not count those visits.

Posts were made by 17 authors during 2016. (There were, of course, many other authors quoted and linked to.)

There are currently 268 email and WordPress followers of this blog. In addition there are 203 Twitter followers (@Klerotarian) and 67 Facebook followers.

Searching for “distribution by lot” (with quotes) using Google returns Equality-by-Lot as the 2nd result (out of “about 18,900 results”). Searching for “sortition” returns Equality-by-Lot as the 2nd result (out of “about 62,600 results”) – right behind the sortition entry at Wikipedia.

Happy holidays and happy new year to Equality-by-Lot readers, commenters and posters. Keep up the good fight for democracy!

2016 review – sortition-related events

This is a review of notable sortition-related events of the year 2016.

Paul Lucardie wrote to note that sortition has been gaining some momentum in the Netherlands with a proposal from a group of mayors to appoint municipal councils members by lot, a proposal that received some media attention. Paul also reports that the Groningen municipal government is set to have an experiment in 2017 in which a partly allotted body will be granted some limited decision making power in the municipality. Paul and some other academics will be monitoring the experiment.

Going over last year’s posts on Equality-by-Lot, I note the following:

Sortition continues its movement toward the center of the political stage in French-speaking Europe.
The most notable developments this year occurred in France, where two prominent candidates for the leadership of the socialist party made separate proposals for introducing allotted bodies into the French system in a way that would potentially give those bodies significant independent power. Allotment was also used to select delegates for a convention of a Left-wing party. More modest steps were taken elsewhere on the continent: in Switzerland and, as Paul mentions, in the Netherlands.

To a much lesser extent sortition is making gains in the English speaking world. In Ireland, the government expressed an intent to convene allotted citizen assemblies to review various issues. In Australia, allotted bodies were convened to handle corruption in local government, and to consider a nuclear dump in SA. David Van Reybrouck’s Against Elections was published in English and received some attention. In Canada and the UK sortition was discussed by academics. In the US, sortition was mentioned in a workshop of the APSA.

Sortition’s gains are fueled by the ongoing delegitimization and destabilization of the electoral system throughout the Western world. The two outstanding electoral events of 2016 – the Brexit vote and the election of Trump – are both expressions of a rejection of the electorally-generated establishment and status-quo. For the first time, the U.S. presidential elections featured major party candidates who both had negative net favorability ratings. A study reported that citizens all over the Western world – and in particular, rich citizens – are losing their faith in the electoral system and mainstream political scientists re-discover that electoral government is inherently non-responsive. Elites’ frustration with the electorate is manifesting itself in a revival of openly anti-democratic ideas. Van Reybrouck and others offer sortition as an alternative: a democratic mechanism that will furnish the elites with the outcomes they desire.