Another New Writer for BuildingANewReality.com by Ted Wachtel David Heekin I am pleased to introduce David Heekin, retired Continental Airlines and former United States Air Force pilot, occasional writer and frequent curmudgeon. I trust you’ll enjoy his humor and willingness to challenge. I asked him to write his reaction to our recent series of BANR […]
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 Brett Hennig Recently, inspired by my interview on NPR—“Should we replace politicians with randomly selected citizens?”—that aired on October 13, a listener, Zach Roberts, contacted me and sent me the great graphic below, comparing the demographics of the U.S. senate with what it would look like if the U.S. senate was populated by randomly […]
By Ted Wachtel A number of the British voters who, in the 2016 national referendum, supported “Brexit”—the term used to describe Britain leaving the European Union—now have “buyer’s remorse.” Although Brexit succeeded by about 52 to 48 percent, current polls show that the vote, if held today, would be strongly in favor of remaining in […]
Over the course of 18 months, from October 2016 to April 2018, ninety-nine randomly selected Irish citizens did an incredible thing: They made policy recommendations to their government. And what’s more, the government listened and responded.
by Ted Wachtel Most people believe that voting is democracy, and that an election is the only way to choose office holders…but they are mistaken. The first democracy in ancient Athens chose only ten percent of their officials by election, selecting the rest by sortition—a lottery, which randomly selected citizens to serve as legislators, jurors, […]
by Ted Wachtel Many people believe the current system of government and elections is broken. Perhaps we can fix democracy with more democracy. To learn how, please watch the video or read the text below the video. by Ted Wachtel (VIDEO TEXT) — In the original democracy in ancient Athens, Greece, most public officials were not elected. Instead, […]
Those who see technology as the solution to humanity’s problems simply don’t get it. They talk about building colonies on Mars and beyond as the way to a better future. The problem with that plan is that we will have to take ourselves with us.
A frequently mentioned innovation to improve government is to select public officials randomly by lottery from among the citizens—called sortition. Athens, the original democracy, selected 90 percent of its public officials by sortition, not election, thereby ensuring true representation of its citizens. American and British courts have sustained the Athenian tradition by selecting jury members randomly from the tax rolls.