Planning the End of Politicians

sf-postcard2.jpgAs the year comes to a close the Sortition Foundation reflects on what we think are the most exciting sortition events of 2015, and outlines our plans for next year.

Sortition 2015 highlights

Sortition thrived in 2015. Here are just a handful of the highlights:

Sortition Foundation Plans

In 2015 we have mostly been getting our systems in place (online and offline) and spreading the word. We made this video:

and these postcards:


In 2016 things should move up a notch. Here are our current plans:

  • Finalise our Strategy and Campaign Plan in January.
  • Organise the first UK Citizens’ Parliament:
  • Organise and launch a campaign to replace the House of Lords in the UK with such a Citizens’ Parliament.
  • Spawn a Canadian Chapter of the Sortition Foundation to campaign for the replacement of the Canadian Senate with a Citizens’ Parliament.
  • Run a membership drive before we hold our first Annual General Meeting and celebrate our first year of existence!

If you want to help with any of these projects please get in touch.

Showing 2 reactions

  • Brett Hennig
    Here are some of the reasons I would argue against your points, Sharjil:

    - I think the problem is not that the political passes are “free” but that they cost too much. Money has polluted the political process.
    - I think the essential questions politicians are answering are not technical questions requiring expertise, but moral questions about how to distribute limited resources. Of course I think experts would have their place, but no power – experts should be on tap, not on top.
    - So to me the analogy with mechanics and doctors is a false one – these require expertise, whereas what I want in a political system is a diversity of voices from all walks of life who can bring their moral judgements and their experiences of justice to the decisions that need to be made about how best to distribute limited resources for the common good.

    So to me it makes a lot of sense to give politicians’ jobs to a voluntary, stratified selection of random people, of course in an equitable environment that is informed by experts where they are encouraged to come to moral decisions.

  • Sharjil Neshat
    I would answer NO to this question. Instead, we need qualified people in a parliament, randomly selected, to make better laws. Among the reasons why the current system is broken is because we give free passes to unqualified political representatives. In Ontario, Canada, I remember during my high school years that a high school dropout was chosen as the province’s education minister. That was extremely embarrassing. We also became increasingly tolerant of fallacies committed by politicians during debates and parliamentary sessions. Hence, we’ve become increasingly apathetic towards politics and politicians.

    So, we need qualified people who know and understand politics, the law, etc., better than the ordinary public. These qualified people also need to pass tests on logic and critical thinking so that our parliaments can have intellectual and enlightening discussions and debates (instead of fallacious and slanderous ones we see today). This would encourage and interest the ordinary public to engage and participate in the true democratic system (who may become future politicians and lawmakers). Just like it doesn’t make sense when a doctor’s job is given to a mechanic, therefore it doesn’t make sense to give a politician’s job to any random person.

    What we need to do now is abolish the current system which in essence is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. By wolf, I mean oligarchy, and sheep democracy. The essential difference between yesterday’s and today’s oligarchies is that political parties, lobbies, interest groups, corporations, etc., replaced tyrant hereditary landlords. Abolishing the oligarchy means an end to partisan and ideological politics, and a total end to all kinds of favoritism practiced.