Chouard: An allotted referendum chamber

Etienne Chouard, who has been the most vocal and consistent French advocate for sortition, is having somewhat of a day in the limelight in the context of the Gilets Jaunes protests. Chouard’s other major procedural proposal is the Popular initiative (in french: Referendum d’initiative citoyenne, often referred to as RIC). A major issue with the […]

Antoine Bevort: Chouard and democracy: an intellectual and political fraud

The following is my translation of a recent article Antoine Bevort in the online French publication Mediapart. Like Tommy Lasserre’s Sortition in politics – the false good idea, which appeared in Mediapart two years ago, the article is a critique of Chouard and his proposals. Bevort makes some similar points, but, unlike Lasserre, doesn’t focus […]

Chouard: No democracy without sortition

An interview with Etienne Chouard in Ragemag magazine (translation by Google Translate, with my touch-ups): Is sortition the future of democracy? Sortition is not the future of democracy, it is inseparable from democracy; it is a much stronger link than a chronological phase: there is no democracy without sortition. Chouard also considers the popular initiative […]

Etienne Chouard

I spoke to Etienne Chouard for the first time last night. He recommended the following TED talk he did: It is close-captioned with English subtitles. He also pointed me to the following talk (again in French) which unfortunately does not yet have subtitles: I’ve only watched the first talk, and I must say I think […]

A summary of Chouard’s talk, and links to some concurring posts

Below is my itemized summary of the ideas presented by Ètienne Chouard: The core of democracy is political equality Elections are anti-democratic Not designed to be democratic, and no such claims made by its designers History shows that elections put the rich in power The powerful support elections – cannot be a threat to them […]

90 minute lecture on sortition from Athens to today – by Ètienne Chouard

One of the impediments to instituting sortitional selection is, I believe, the *dispassionate* nature of the proposal.  It is such a rational and egalitarian idea that I don’t see it igniting the fire of emotional conviction that seems to accompany major social change. Ètienne Chouard’s lecture “Sortition as a sustainable protection against oligarchy” changes my […]

Politics as a profession

In a recent debate with Etienne Chouard, among quite a few fallacies and hypocritical talking points, Raphaël Enthoven makes an interesting point regarding the role of training in politics (about 23 minutes into the recording) [my transcription and translation, corrections welcome]: The fact is that, as Plato argues, politics is a profession. [ Chourad interjects: […]

“Real democracy” videos

Tomas Mancebo wrote to draw attention to the following video clips. They seem to be inspired by the ideas promoted by Étienne Chouard.

Lasserre: Sortition in politics – the false good idea, part 2

This is the second and final part of a translation of an article by Tommy Lasserre. The first part is here. Again, proofreading and corrections of the translation are welcome. Sortition eliminates popular participation While fewer and fewer Frenchpeople bother vote, the membership of parties evaporates, the feeling of powerlessness intensifies, the advocates of stochocracy […]

Lasserre: Sortition in politics – the false good idea, part 1

André Sauzeau referred me to a polemic against sortition by Tommy Lasserre. This text is the most elaborate argument against sortition ever written (as far as I am aware) and it is therefore of significant interest to sortition advocates. In view of that, and despite my essentially non-existent French I have undertaken to translate it […]