Thought Cages: a Parliament by lottery

Readers of this blog may be interested in this brief documentary radio program that recently went to air on BBC Radio 4.

A Parliament by Lottery

Could we fix the disconnect between the public and its politicians – by selecting our MPs by lottery?

In today’s episode, ad guru and expert on human behaviour Rory Sutherland explores how a “House Of The People”, comprised of a random cross-section of the British public – might be better at truly reflecting the considered will of the British people.

Rory is joined by the Australian political economist and expert on innovation Nicholas Gruen – who explains how the idea dates back to the Ancient Greeks – and the MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Philips, an elected parliamentarian who’s keener on the idea than you might expect…

2 Responses

  1. It’s 13:45 long. The exchanges among participants are nice and civilized-British. One unusual and praiseworth emphasis was on the danger of elite (college professor) over-rationality “getting things very, very wrong” and being reluctant to change its opinion.

    Another unusual (and creative) idea of Gruen’s was that if the advisory, “cit-ocratic” chamber voted by super-majority to disapprove a bill from the “pol-ocratic” chamber, the latter would then have to employ a secret ballot in the next round, breaking the grip of party loyalty, and likely often delivering a different and less parisan result.

    (See how concise and general one can be when using my neologisms!)


  2. […] in the New York Times. Sortition was featured in the Left-leaning magazine Jacobin as well as on BBC radio, and was mentioned in the Washington Post. Canadian scientist and environmentalist expressed […]


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