Re: POLI: Random democracy

Peter C. McCluskey (
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 22:29:19 -0800 (Robin Hanson) writes:
>You could now run for office on a platform that if elected, you will
>replace yourself with a randomly selected member of your electorate.
>Since people do not now run on such platforms, I suspect that voters
>do not in fact trust such a random person to do as well. Also, voters

Suppose there was a widespread preference for candidates who promise
randomness, and that such promises were often enforceable. Would that
give candidates an incentive to make such promises? It isn't obvious
that the benefits of winning an election after making such a promise
exceed the costs of getting elected.

Given the frequency with which candidates break promises ("Read my
lips ...", "I won't seek a second term", etc.), why would voters
expect they could enforce a promise of randomness?

>can't be as skeptical as you regarding the information value of
>advertizing, or they wouldn't be persuaded by it.

The rational agents in their minds could be aware that the information
value is negligible, but unable to prevent the advertisers from
exploiting evolutionary quirks in other parts of the mind.

Peter McCluskey |                        | "Don't blame me. I voted | | for Kodos." - Homer Simpson |     |