Suzuki: The solution we need is a system where politicians are drawn from a hat

Canadian scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki has given up on the electoral system and proposes to replace it with a sortition-based system. Some excerpts from an interview with the National Observer:

Q: Trudeau’s called the pipelines a “trade off” for the national carbon plan. Earlier this month, he was in Nanaimo saying we can both build Kinder Morgan and hit the Paris targets.

DS: That’s such a lot of bullshit! this is just political doublespeak: ‘We’ve got to keep burning more oil, more fossil fuels, in order to meet our reduction targets.’ What are you talking about? That’s such a crock of shit!

Q: So how can citizens hold our democratic leaders accountable?

DS: I was asked to give a talk to the Senate last year on the 150th anniversary of Canada. What I said is, ‘We elect people to run government, but their problem is they only look to the next election.’ They can’t look down and say, ‘Jesus, we have to spend $50 billion a year for the next fifteen years to deal with climate change,’ because they know someone else will take credit for it. They won’t be in office then. So that kind of view is not in their thinking.

So I said, ‘You guys are the Senate. You’re not elected. You’re appointed for life! You’re the ones to think of sober second thought, and think in terms of one generation, two generations from now. You’re the guys who should be doing that.’

They didn’t do a goddamn thing. But I really think that would be a huge opportunity, if we’ve got that bicameral system.

Q: They say longer-term planning is one of the best features of autocratic societies, like China. And China has done a great job cutting down on dirty energy, like coal.

DS: Well the reason why they’re shutting down coal plants is because they’re killing six thousand Chinese a day.

Q: How do we fix our political system?

DS: The solution to me is we need a system where politicians are drawn from a hat, the same way we need to set up our juries. People should be charged to serve for six years, they have no political party, their only job is to govern to the best of their ability. There’s no chance in hell of that ever happening. But when you think about it that’s the only system that would work.

4 Responses

  1. He proposes an allotted executive power. I am fighting peacefully for this to happen. I started last week a group called “Lille en comme’un 2020” to run for the next communal elections in Lille. For now we just designate moderators using sortition. But my first proposal will be to build our list, who will run for election, using sortition. First meeting of our group (we are already 20). This week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading (I have still a lot to catch up) the fromer posts from the kleroterians, I feel not alone in this non-violent combat! It’s heartwarming.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzuki has some great plain talk going on there! Warms the soul.


  4. […] as on BBC radio, and was mentioned in the Washington Post. Canadian scientist and environmentalist expressed interest in drawing politicians from a […]


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