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.

The problem with these systems is they effectively give the person who chooses the expert ‘advisors’ unlimited power.

It’s the same problem that turn citizen’s assemblies into rubber stamps for manufacturing consent.

Others express varying levels of support for the idea.

There is absolutely a huge place for this in a democracy (obviously it was common in ancient democracies, eg Athens).

Having effectively citizens juries making or overseeing executive decisions is a great way to reduce institutional corruption and just the huge power of vested interests.

I suppose parliament could be 50% politicians, 50% randomly-selected, but what if the politicians just dominate/convince the randomly-selected to join their “side”.

One Response

  1. […] subject that were mentioned this year on Equality-by-Lot included items from South Africa, the UK: 1, 2, the US: 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, Australia, Malaysia, Texas, US, France, Ireland, Utah, US, California, […]


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