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Reply #10: It's called Demarchy or Lottocracy or Sortition and has been tried. [View All]

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-10 08:50 PM
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10. It's called Demarchy or Lottocracy or Sortition and has been tried.
And, it would be a helluva lot more democratic than the oligarchy now in place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarchy#Demarchy_in_history

Demarchy (or lottocracy) is a form of hypothetical government in which the state is governed by randomly selected decision makers who have been selected by sortition (lot) from a broadly inclusive pool of eligible citizens. These groups, sometimes termed "policy juries," "citizens' juries," or "consensus conferences," deliberately make decisions about public policies in much the same way that juries decide criminal cases.

Demarchy, in theory, would overcome some of the functional problems of conventional representative democracy, which is widely subject to manipulation by special interests and a division between professional policymakers (politicians and lobbyists) vs. a largely passive, uninvolved and often uninformed electorate. According to Australian philosopher John Burnheim, random selection of policymakers would make it easier for everyday citizens to meaningfully participate, and harder for special interests to corrupt the process.

More generally, random selection of decision makers from a larger group is known as sortition (from the Latin base for lottery). The Athenian democracy made much use of sortition, with nearly all government offices filled by lottery (of full citizens) rather than by election. Candidates were almost always male, Greek, educated citizens holding a minimum of wealth and status.

In the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, a group of citizens was randomly selected to create a Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform to investigate and recommend changes to the provinces' electoral systems. The Old Order Amish use a combination of election and sortition to select church leaders; men receiving two or three nominations to fill a vacancy (the number varies by district) are then asked to select a psalm book containing a slip of paper, one of those slips being marked to indicate who will take on the burden of the position.
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