The Jury of the Whole

In my latest post on the legislative branch, I look at what happens after a set of concrete proposals are made and published. This is the most transformative aspect of the proposal-jury model. It engages every aspect of a polity, from intellectual and business elites, to the news media, to ordinary citizens. And it is the closest that any large, modern society can come to experiencing direct democracy.

Kill The Assembly

In the first post of my series on the legislative, I discuss what is wrong with the general assembly (spoiler alert: everything). Nevertheless, in the history of the assembly there are the seeds of new growth. We can get back to a more honest, more productive assembly if we take it apart, honor its historical motivation, and rebuild it with some modern innovations.

Sortition Foundation: a new campaign for government by sortition

Last week a new campaign was launched to demand government by sortition.

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Its aim is to promote sortition and build a movement demanding the replacement of elections with sortition.

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To support or promote it, visit http://www.sortitionfoundation.org/, like it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SortitionFoundation or follow it on Twitter @SortitionNow

For more information, or to give feedback or offer to help, please use
the contact page: http://www.sortitionfoundation.org/contact

[Editor’s note: this post was modified after posting as the group changed its name]

The Blind Break, the Invisible Hand and the Wisdom of Crowds: The political potential of sortition

[Update: Commenting was accidentally initially off, enabled now.]

Draft paper:

Abstract: Following (Waldron, 2013), this paper draws a distinction between ‘social’ and ‘political’ variants of sortition, focusing principally on the latter. The two leading theories – the ‘blind break’ and the ‘invisible hand’ of descriptive representation – rely on different principles, focus on different levels of analysis (individual and collective) and have little in common. The attempt by epistemic democrats to bridge the gap via small-group face-to-face deliberation fails on account of the lack of concern for statistical representativity and the lack of distinction between the different roles of advocacy and judgment (proposing and disposing) in political decision-making, sortition only being relevant to the latter function.

This is derived from the paper that I presented at the recent IPSA Montreal conference, where I was encouraged to write it up and submit to a journal. I’d really appreciate comments and criticisms via this forum. Here’s the full draft (click the download button on the right).

Discussions of sortition in German?

Does anyone know of organizations, publications or websites that discuss sortitional selection of legislatures in German?

List of goods & services from Common Lot Productions

There is a new list of goods and services from Common Lot Productions:

Overview of Products and Services

Interest in the use of sortition continues to grow. We welcome contributors and collaborators.