Wafawarova on sortition

Reason Wafawarova, columnist in The Herald of Zimbabwe, concludes a column in which he decries the disfunction of the the electoral system in Zimbabwe with the following:

Imagine having to develop a system today that would express the will of the people. Would it really be a good idea to have them all queue up at polling stations every five years with a bit of card in their hands and go into a dark booth to put a mark next to names on a list, names of people about whom restless reporting had been going on for months in a commercial environment that profits from restlessness?

We care deeply about our community, and we as people want to be heard. Maybe we can return to the central principle of Athenian democracy; drafting by lot, or sortition. In that era the majority of public functions were assigned by lot.

Renaissance states such as Venice and Florence worked on the same basis and experienced centuries of political stability. With sortition, you do not ask everyone to vote on an issue few people really understand, but you draft a random sample of the population and make sure they come to grips with the subject matter in order to take a sensible decision.

A cross-section of society that is informed can act more coherently than an entire society that is uninformed.

This perhaps brought about the idea of representative democracy or parliamentary democracy, but do our parliamentarians always act in our best interest?

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