“The public is very smart if you give it a chance…If people think their voice actually matters, they’ll do the hard work, really study their briefing books, ask the experts smart questions and then make tough decisions. When they hear the experts disagreeing, they’re forced to think for themselves. About 70 percent change their minds in the process.”
The future of democracy – whether we live in Baltimore or Brussels – depends on citizen assemblies coming together, putting their differences aside, and working toward common sense solutions that benefit everyone. Without True Representation, we’ll continue to live in societies in which fear is allowed to place barbed-wire fences on our borders and in our hearts.
In case you haven’t noticed, our society is not functioning well. We all feel uncomfortable about it. Our greatest discomfort comes from our system of governance. Political governance isn’t working for us, because it causes eternal bickering and divisiveness.
When Ted Wachtel, founder of Building a New Reality (BANR), first mentioned “sortition,” I thought he was referring to the magical hat in the Harry Potter novels and movies, used to sort Hogwarts students into their appropriate houses.
Turns out sortition is “the use of random selection to populate assemblies or fill political positions.” Or as my BANR colleague and Sortition Foundation co-founder and director, Brett Hennig, explained, “An assembly that uses sortition would be composed of people just like you and me. It would be a representative random sample of people, making decisions in an informed, fair, and deliberative setting.”
By Ted Wachtel Alexander Guerrero concept of “lottocracy” proposes a series of single-issue legislatures focusing on different areas—agriculture, consumer protection, defense, education, environmental protection, financial services regulation, healthcare, tax policy—rather than trying to deal with all of those areas in a traditional general legislature. The 300 legislators in each single-issue legislature would be randomly selected […]