Action ideas

In the discussion following my presentation in the January DWE meeting, one of the participants suggested that a list of actions and activities that sortition activists can engage in in order to promote idea of sortition would be useful. Here is my attempt at a first draft. The possible actions and activities are categorized by the circle of action (internal, personal circle, wider circles). In addition there is a category of activities that are suitable for coordinated action. In some cases it may be worth expanding on the bullet items and giving some details, but I wanted to keep the list brief and manageable, so I intend to do this separately.

Please contribute your ideas in the comments. Hopefully we can create an improved, richer list in future versions.

Changing personal habits of thought and expression

  • Breaking the habit of thinking and referring to countries with elections-based political systems as “democratic” (e.g., “the Western democracies”)
  • Awareness of the oppressive outcomes of the elections-based system
  • Thinking and talking about those outcomes as inherent to the elections-based system, rather than aberrations
  • Rejecting the standard electoralist “fixes” (campaign finance reforms, term limits, the popular initiative process, proportional representation, etc.)

Action within the personal circle
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More sortition on Reddit

Reddit user swiftap offers sortition to the readers of the ukpolitics topic:

I want to replace our current voting system with a system of Sortition for our legislative bodies. Sortition is the system used for selecting jury duty. Its effectively a lottery system for ordinary people to be selected to be the representative for their district.

As our politics becomes more polarised every year, I feel our vote matters less and less. It only matters if you live in a swing district. We even like to think we are electing a representative that matches our views and beliefs, but those elected representatives are under the influence of political parties, and those parties have agendas that are shaped by individuals that assist their campaigns to get into office, typically the rich and powerful.

Speaking of campaigns, we don’t even elect politicians based on how good they are at their job, we elect them at how good they are at campaigning for their job. Campaigning for office, and holding office are two different skillsets.

Many of the commenters respond with some of the standard, easily refutable objections:

Would these people not be completely unaccountable for their decisions? Just get the job, vote for decisions that favour the biggest bidder and go along your merry way.

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