Citizen assemblies via sortition verses elections



January 11 2019 – Kevin Yaworski

Reverting to citizens’ assemblies selected via sortition rather than election and with banishment or ostracizing of too-powerful politicians maybe the answer to many of the serious issues facing modern democracies and the public.

Here is exerts from the following Guardian article that explain this well and links to more information.

Sortition, meaning selection by lot, as opposed to election by vote took place in ancient Greece. It was accepted as democratic when public offices were allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they were filled by election.”

A citizens’ assembly called for recently by a number of public figures in the service of breaking the Brexit deadlock has its roots in sortition, involving members of the public, selected at random.

This form of assembly has been employed in a number of other countries, most notably in Ireland, which created a citizens’ assembly in 2016 to consider a number of questions. The Irish version consists of 99 complete strangers, selected at random from the electoral roll, who meet over a series of weekends to learn about, debate and vote on contentious issues, such as abortion rights and climate change.

The results have been surprising: the citizens’ assembly has been credited with providing the momentum for legalisation to tackle long standing issues and take measures politicians had previously dismissed as unworkable.


How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens – Guardian – Opinion – Tue 25 Dec 2018


“We campaign for a world free from partisan politicking, where a representative random sample of everyday people make decisions in an informed, deliberative and fair environment.”

For more see What is sortition? or watch these sortition short films

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things that I think are a matter of public interest or that I think others will be interested in
This entry was posted in Human Rights and Freedoms, justice, News and politics, Philosophy, Sustainability and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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