Re: POLI: Random democracy

J. de Lyser (
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 03:01:52 +0100

At 15:58 15-02-97 -0800,The low golden willow wrote:

>So if our current system seems to lack any of the virtues it should
>have, what could replace it? The simplest way to get a representative
>cross-section of the population is to select a few hundred to a thousand
>people at random.

Like the ancient greeks did in Athens ?

A few suggestions:

Being able to 'rule'

For such a (minimal) state to function, one needs a minimal (state)
educational system, teaching basic law, next to the most basic skills
needed to function in society. So everybody knows how to 'rule' instead of
just knowing how to be 'ruled'. I suggest a (one day a week or so)
educational system that runs alongside to the various private education


In a smaller state the possibilities for corruption will already be far
less, as well as the 'campaign contributions' you pointed out will be
eleiminated. But still to ensure a corrupt free political system, maybe
supervisors could be randomly assigned to check the representatives,
swicthing between them on a regular basis.


Why not fund the political system on a capitalist basis ?. That is;
offering them a percentage of the benefits to society they bring, instead
of having the taxpayer pay their year income. The 'state' as a whole could
be rewarded by society a percentage of the increase of the economy,
basically paying them if they do well, and not paying them if they fail.
Political representative could become a lucrative (and popular!) job this
way... Ofcourse in an economically bad situation, many will refuse their
political right, and logically in such situations, their jobs will be
filled by relatively more people, who don't have to worry about losing a
years income, (by the process of random 'election' and refusal), & economy
could restore itself that way, as these people would have (generally
speaking) a better economical insight. (to whatever extent that would still
be needed in a minimized state...)

I'm all for it, as there's one other thing you forgot in your criticism of
democracy not being a correct representation of society: Know any
congressmen of 18 or 21 years old ?

J. de Lyser