How can a transition be effected?

A reader of the blog wrote asking whether readers of Equality by Lot have ideas about how a transition toward a system in which sortition plays an important role could be achieved.

The reader, who is an Iranian expat, is specifically interested in the case of Iran, which she describes as follows:

  • There are no political parties in Iran, though there are some syndicates of workers, teachers, …
  • There are some opposition groups out of Iran, but those who are well-known and are professional politicians, are just promoting their own interests, I think.
  • The majority of people who are against the regime are still passive as they don’t know what would happen next. They need an image of the future of Iran.
  • There is so much violence from regime devotees because they are also afraid of the future. Maybe the idea of sortition can soothe them too.

With the appropriate modifications, however, the description applies also to many (possibly all) other countries, specifically including those with the Western-style elections-based systems. Therefore any ideas may very well be relevant for effecting a change in many societies.

The questions then are:

How can a revolution create a deliberative democracy and sortition? What would be a realistic scenario or plan for that? What can international agents/actors, people like you, do to make it possible? Is there any international organization that can help at least us, Iranians who live out of Iran, to have a “citizen assembly based on sortition”, to practice democracy and peer-to-peer conversation between us and to create a feasible image of how could be the democracy like in Iran of future?

And, again, I believe the answers in the context of Iran would not be very different from the answers in other contexts. Sortition activists of all countries should consider these questions in the contexts of their own societies and government systems.