The Times alarmed about the radical proposals of the Sortition Foundation

The Times writes:

Group that wants to abolish MPs wins government cash

Even Extinction Rebellion believes the Sortition Foundation’s ideas are too radical

The taxpayer has been funding a group that campaigns for the end of parliamentary democracy and which even Extinction Rebellion considers to be too radical.

The Sortition Foundation has provided recruitment services for parliament and other governmental bodies, helping them to organise “citizens’ assemblies” that are used to inform decision makers on issues such as climate change.

Participants are paid to take part and chosen through a process of “stratified random selection” so that assemblies, made up of between 20 to 200 people, are representative of communities in the UK and can be used to guide government policy.

The not-for-profit company was awarded £26,000 by the Department for Environment, was among the beneficiaries of a £120,000 contract from the House of Commons and received £10,000.

5 Responses

  1. Here’s a few of the comments on the Times article:

    “The group’s discussions are guided by experts…” and therein lies the rub. As with Socratic dialectics, an experienced expert will be able to guide a group to their preferred decision more often than not. Sortition is really just a less honest version of a technocracy.

    It’s almost certainly worse since who will ensure that the beliefs and political aims of the ‘experts’ will not be such that unrepresentative activists will enjoy unfettered influence over the decision making of ‘Citizens’ Assemblies’. Whilst there are many problems associated with the current political system at least there is some shared understanding of what each major political grouping believes in and wishes to achieve.

    Yes, let’s let loud-mouth minorities tell the majority what to do and what is best for them.

    Russia used to have citizens’ councils – they called them soviets

    Sound like a bunch of anarcho-syndicalist deluded egotists who would not be safe running a bath?

    Because individuals are not accountable the policy decisions would be toxic. Capital punishment and extreme taxes would return. Marginalised groups would have no voice.

    These are fairly typical, although some of the comments were more supportive.


  2. Love how ‘capital punishment’ and ‘extreme taxes’ are on a par for the Times comment section there

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, but the commentator does have a point about the tyranny of the majority over marginalised groups — ironic when you consider the overlap between sortition and the deliberative/discursive democracy movement. I think XR’s concerns are largely prudential (softly, softly . . .) — ironic again when you consider their uncompromising approach on environmental issues.


  4. It is the begin of success for the sortition foundation. More radical than xtinction rebellion :)


  5. Or the end of credibility for the sortition movement.


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: