Wang Shaoguang and Yves Sintomer on sortition

A 2019 hour-long discussion on sortition at Shandong University with Wang Shaoguang and Yves Sintomer was recently published by its moderator, Daniel A. Bell.

This is a rather wide ranging discussion, and its lack of focus is somewhat of a flaw, in my opinion. Ideas on various matters are expressed. Many of those are well-hashed ideas, and the discussants are content to simply repeat them rather than examine them critically.

One idea that I think is relatively novel is briefly offered by Sintomer toward the end when Bell asks for proposals for applying sortition:

I would give the power to citizen juries randomly selected to judge politicians, when they are accused of misbehavior. Because I don’t trust other politicians to do this, as in Brazil or in the USA, where the impeachment is voted by the Congress. I think it’s a bad setting. And I don’t trust judges for judging politicians. Because judges are a very specific, professional body, and very often, a highly conservative body. I trust more randomly selected citizens to judge politicians when they are accused of misbehavior.

One Response

  1. Agree that politicians should not judge politicians, nor should officials chosen by politicians judge politicians. Politicians should be judged either by officials chosen by jury (such as judges and inspector generals chosen by jury) or by juries.

    The latter is how it was in Athens, for example with court actions being possible against those who allegedly made illegal proposals in the Assembly, and of course Athenian courts were jury-courts.

    The farcical Trump impeachment on partisan lines is a good and very prominent example of the problem of politicians judging politicians. The farcical partisan decision of the Republican majority on the Supreme Court electing Bush in 2000 on the basis of ridiculously implausible reasons which even the judges offering them said should not be used as a precedent, is an example of why officials chosen by politicians should not judge politicians (specifically in this case elections and who won them).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: