Short refutations of common objections to sortition (part 4 of 4)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 16. Why not use direct democracy? “Direct democracy” is not a democratic mechanism – it suffers from much of the same fundamental problems of electoral systems. Much in the same way that an electoral candidate has to have the backing of powerful people or organizations in order to become […]

Short refutations of common objections to sortition (part 3)

Part 1 Part 2 11. Elections are a mechanism of accountability. It allows the electorate to reward or punish those with power. There is no way to hold government accountable using sortition. Using elections as an accountability mechanism is like a bank’s board of directors appointing a new bank manager for a 4-year term and […]

Short refutations of common objections to sortition (part 2)

Part 1 is here. 6. Random sampling will occasionally produce unrepresentative samples. Significant deviation of a sample from the population sampled is in fact very rare. For example, in a population evenly split between men and women, the chance of having fewer than 40 women in a sample of one hundred people is less than […]

Short refutations of common objections to sortition (part 1)

1. It would be madness to appoint public officials by lot. No one would choose a pilot or builder or flutist by lot, nor any other craftsman for work in which mistakes are far less disastrous than mistakes in statecraft. The problem with this ancient argument against sortition (attributed to Socrates) is that it implicitly […]

Landemore: Open Democracy, part 10

In the final chapter of her book, Hélène Landemore addresses a few potential objections to her proposals. I’ll skip over the objections regarding ways in which the Icelandic setup (which supposedly serves as an example where an “open” process functioned well) is atypical of other political situations (e.g., because Iceland is supposedly small or homogeneous). […]