Malkin: Reviving sortition, first within the parties

Elections in Israel are in the offing again. Prof. Irad Malkin, a professor of Ancient History in Tel Aviv University and winner of the 2014 Israel Prize for history, again offers sortition to the readers of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

Lottery instead of voting, like in Athens

In these days, in which parties are preparing for elections, especially in view of the increase of the electoral threshold, an exhausting process of political fighting, deals, backstabbing and ideological infighting can be expected. Even if a new party is formed and wins seats in the Knesset, residues of bitterness and animosity that have accumulated during the formation struggle will remain. This problem can be solved – greatly shortening the process and dissolving the conflicts in advance – by adopting a mechanism that was used in ancient Athens, the city that gave us democracy.

In the Athenian democracy people were selected by lottery to most positions in the executive, religious and judicial organization. […] The difference between oligrachy and democracy, say Aristotle, is that oligarchy has elections while democracy has the lottery.

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