What if we replaced politicians with randomly selected people? | Brett Hennig

What if we replaced politicians with randomly selected people? | Brett Hennig

I want to talk about
one of the big questions, perhaps the biggest question: How should we live together? How should a group of people,
who perhaps live in a city or in the continent or even the whole globe, share and manage common resources? How should we make
the rules that govern us? This has always been
an important question. And today, I think
it’s even more important than ever if we want to address rising inequality,
climate change, the refugee crisis, just to name a few major issues. It’s also a very old question. Humans have been asking
themselves this question ever since we lived
in organized societies. Like this guy, Plato. He thought we needed benevolent guardians who could make decisions
for the greater good of everyone. Kings and queens thought
they could be those guardians, but during various revolutions,
they tended to lose their heads. And this guy, you probably know. Here in Hungary, you lived for many years under one attempt to implement
his answer of how to live together. His answer was brutal, cruel and inhumane. But a different answer,
a different kind of answer, which went more or less
into hibernation for 2,000 years, has had profound recent success. That answer is, of course, democracy. If we take a quick look
at the modern history of democracy, it goes something like this. Along here, we’re going
to put the last 200 years. Up here, we’re going to put
the number of democracies. And the graph does this, the important point of which, is this extraordinary increase over time, which is why the 20th century has been called the century
of democracy’s triumph, and why, as Francis Fukuyama said in 1989, some believe that we have reached
the end of history, that the question of how to live together
has been answered, and that answer is liberal democracy. Let’s explore that assertion, though. I want to find out what you think. So I’m going to ask you two questions, and I want you to put your hands up if you agree. The first question is: Who thinks
living in a democracy is a good thing? Who likes democracy? If you can think of a better system,
keep your hands down. Don’t worry about those
who didn’t raise their hands, I’m sure they mean very well. The second question is: Who thinks our democracies
are functioning well? Come on, there must be one politician
in the audience somewhere. (Laughter) No. But my point is, if liberal democracy
is the end of history, then there’s a massive paradox
or contradiction here. Why is that? Well, the first question
is about the ideal of democracy, and all these qualities
are very appealing. But in practice, it’s not working. And that’s the second question. Our politics is broken,
our politicians aren’t trusted, and the political system is distorted
by powerful vested interests. I think there’s two ways
to resolve this paradox. One is to give up on democracy;
it doesn’t work. Let’s elect a populist demagogue
who will ignore democratic norms, trample on liberal freedoms and just get things done. The other option, I think,
is to fix this broken system, to bring the practice closer to the ideal and put the diverse voices of society
in our parliaments and get them to make considered,
evidence-based laws for the long-term good of everyone. Which brings me to my epiphany, my moment of enlightenment. And I want you to get critical. I want you to ask yourselves,
“Why wouldn’t this work?” And then come and talk to me
afterwards about it. Its technical name is “sortition.” But its common name is “random selection.” And the idea is actually very simple: we randomly select people
and put them in parliament. (Laughter) Let’s think about that
for a few more minutes, shall we? Imagine we chose you and you
and you and you and you down there and a bunch of other random people, and we put you in our parliament
for the next couple of years. Of course, we could stratify the selection
to make sure that it matched the socioeconomic and demographic
profile of the country and was a truly representative
sample of people. Fifty percent of them would be women. Many of them would be young,
some would be old, a few would be rich, but most of them would be
ordinary people like you and me. This would be a microcosm of society. And this microcosm would simulate
how we would all think, if we had the time, the information and a good process to come to
the moral crux of political decisions. And although you may not be in that group, someone of your age,
someone of your gender, someone from your location
and someone with your background would be in that room. The decisions made by these people
would build on the wisdom of crowds. They would become more
than the sum of their parts. They would become critical thinkers with access to experts, who would be on tap but not on top. And they could prove
that diversity can trump ability when confronting the wide array
of societal questions and problems. It would not be government
by public opinion poll. It would not be government by referendum. These informed, deliberating people
would move beyond public opinion to the making of public judgments. However, there would be
one major side effect: if we replaced elections with sortition and made our parliament
truly representative of society, it would mean the end of politicians. And I’m sure we’d all be
pretty sad to see that. (Laughter) Very interestingly, random selection was a key part
of how democracy was done in ancient Athens. This machine, this device,
is called a kleroteria. It’s an ancient Athenian
random-selection device. The ancient Athenians
randomly selected citizens to fill the vast majority
of their political posts. They knew that elections
were aristocratic devices. They knew that career politicians
were a thing to be avoided. And I think we know these things as well. But more interesting than
the ancient use of random selection is its modern resurgence. The rediscovery of the legitimacy
of random selection in politics has become so common lately, that there’s simply
too many examples to talk about. Of course, I’m very aware
that it’s going to be difficult to institute this in our parliaments. Try this — say to your friend, “I think we should populate our parliament
with randomly selected people.” “Are you joking? What if my neighbor gets chosen? The fool can’t even
separate his recycling.” But the perhaps surprising
but overwhelming and compelling evidence from all these modern examples is that it does work. If you give people responsibility,
they act responsibly. Don’t get me wrong — it’s not a panacea. The question is not:
Would this be perfect? Of course not. People are fallibly human, and distorting influences
will continue to exist. The question is: Would it be better? And the answer to that question,
to me at least, is obviously yes. Which gets us back
to our original question: How should we live together? And now we have an answer: with a parliament that uses sortition. But how would we get from here to there? How could we fix our broken system and remake democracy for the 21st century? Well, there are several
things that we can do, and that are, in fact,
happening right now. We can experiment with sortition. We can introduce it to schools
and workplaces and other institutions, like Democracy In Practice
is doing in Bolivia. We can hold policy juries
and citizens’ assemblies, like the newDemocracy Foundation
is doing in Australia, like the Jefferson Center
is doing in the US and like the Irish government
is doing right now. We could build a social movement
demanding change, which is what the Sortition Foundation
is doing in the UK. And at some point, we should institute it. Perhaps the first step would be
a second chamber in our parliament, full of randomly selected people — a citizens’ senate, if you will. There’s a campaign
for a citizens’ senate in France and another campaign in Scotland, and it could, of course, be done
right here in Hungary. That would be kind of like a Trojan horse
right into the heart of government. And then, when it becomes impossible to patch over the cracks
in the current system, we must step up and replace
elections with sortition. I have hope. Here in Hungary,
systems have been created, and systems have been
torn down and replaced in the past. Change can and does happen. It’s just a matter of when and how. Thank you.
(Hungarian) Thank you. (Applause)


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    Orazio di Bella

    There are not only two options. There is a third one. It starts by going back a few steps from where Mr. Henning introduces demarchy, at the question, who many people think that democracy works well.

    That people do not lift their hands does not necessarily mean that "democracy" doesn't work.
    It means that everybody does not feel, that the political system and the executive do what people want.

    In other words, the point is not, that democracy doesn't work!
    It is, that what is called democracy is not democracy!

    Democracy means, that through elections people are able to get the society they want.
    But most people feel, the society that they live in is molded by "the markets" and the elite.
    And their feeling is correct.

    So, what we have is an oligarchy disguised as democracy, where elections are not efficient.
    They are just a show, and the purpose is to justify, that the budget of an executive has to be paid by citizens through taxes.

    The third option, that is in reality the closest to realize, is to complete the making of democracy, and let it start.
    Obviously, if we miss to detect clearly, that we still didn't get democracy anywhere anytime in the world, we are not ripe for the following step:
    To understand, why elections don't change anything.
    And what could be done to change the whole system, and make democracy work.

    Why the proposal presented in the video gets attention is not because it gives deep explanations. It is only because people see no way to make "this" work, and would accept to try something different.

    I miss to hear, why people randomly chosen should be more efficient than people selected consciously!

    The biggest reason why we all think, democracy doesn't work is because elected politicians work for lobbies and elites, against the people who voted for them!

    So, the problem is, that the formula for democracy misses one main ingredient:
    Having elected representatives do what they should do!

    How do you solve the problem, that your dog escapes and strays around?
    If you replace him with another dog, you could be luckier with the new one, but you didn't learn and you didn't teach and convince your dog to obey!

    Sortition is exactly that:
    It doesn't change the system, because the system is molded by the most powerful agent around: People with tons of money!

    To change something, the action should focus on cutting bonds, or making their money worthless when it comes to control politicians and society.

    And here we are at the missing ingredient:
    in the process of construction of representative democracy, we got stuck, and we didn't add something to nail elected people to their voters.
    Parties and politicians are free birds, experts in marketing and branding, because they are unattached!

    Those who are nailed are voters! They are unable to change anything with their vote.

    The description above was only to show a few things more.

    The idea of demarchy is not very new. It is already over 30 years old. It's becoming attractive, because more and more people realize, that "voting doesn't change anything".

    The third option I am speaking about is much younger, and there is only one booklet about it, but a few celebrities already support the proposal.

    I invite people who are activists, and experienced in organizing, to contact me, if they are interested in "spreading the word". The bigger work to induce such a change is just to inform people. If a critical mass is informed, the show cannot go on anymore, and a bugfix cannot be refused any longer!

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    The examples are so blatantly misleading that I feel it undermines the whole video. He specifically calls out early on that he's not talking about referendums, but I live in Canada, and that's the only thing his 'electoral reform' example could be referring too. It also might refer to the possibility of implementing a proportional representation system, I guess? But that's still not even close to sortition, and also it was shot down every single time it was brought up as a possibility. So no, nothing at all was done like this in Canada, and if he's willing to be that dishonest to prove his point how reliable are his other sources? How reliable is anything he says?

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    Brian Bixby

    Bertrand Russel said something to the effect (haven't been able to find the original quote), "When you have an elected government two types of people want to be elected. Those who are in it for the power, and those who are in it for the money. Under no conditions are members of either group to be trusted. What is needed is to give the position to someone who doesn't *want* the job."

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    I'm sorry, forgive my ignorance….

    But is he basically saying that to fix Democracy we have to use a randomly selected REPUBLIC?
    of a DEMOCRACY?

    Im confused.

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    Mike Brown

    I think it would be better than what we got now for sure, as long as we could be certain the people were selected randomly.

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    Kirosana Perkunos

    I am biased in favor of science over superstition. I would find a nationwide shift towards the latter as a result of sortition democracy to be unacceptable. This might not actually happen in such a democracy mind you, I don't know. But you sound too optimistic to me, for example normal people habitually ignore experts when they don't like what they hear.

    That aside, this idea warrants a field test. To get meaningful data, this should really be implemented in an entire nation, and over the course of at least a couple of cycles. Would be one of the greatest experiments yet, and also one of the most resource consuming. Because of the sheer scale and associated cost, I don't see this happening which is a pity.

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    Jams Toast

    Maybe start by getting money out of politics? I don't think someone making millions of dollars a year understands the struggles of the average person, nevermind governing them.

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    Shaun Clarkson

    This simplistic model totally ignores nature. It's called the pareto distribution, and no hierarchy in nature is immune to its effects.

    Pareto distribution math says that of the 325 million in the US, there are really only 18,027 of the population deserve to be at the top of the political candidates pile, those that would perform better than the rest. That's .005% of the population. The rest would perform in a very "sub-par" fashion. You are 99.995% likely to randomly put the wrong people in charge.

    A small country like athens of the past, the pool was smaller, so the distribution problem was less and the system could "seem" to work, but it just won't scale. 10 bucks says they didn't select servants or foreigners at random, so they already had a smaller pool to begin working with.

    Put a bunch of new people at the top of the pile at random, and you are just as likely to put a bunch of ill informed morons that will lead any group to complete disaster, as you are to put into place a reasonable group able to deal with the intricacies of leading a country on an international stage.

    Now the odds are better, that those who have climbed the current political hierarchy, are because they have done so, better able to climb political hierarchies, and so are more likely to contain a much higher percentage than .005% of those that "should" be in power.

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    Terri Joiner

    I think we should vote on laws, what our children are taught at school and what businesses are built in our communities

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    Kopimi Copyme

    Me preguntaba si tal vez esta idea no merece la pena difundirla, y lo digo porque por vuestra reclamación el video me lo han bloqueado en todo el mundo. Muy mal TED, creía que erais de los buenos.
    I was wondering if maybe this idea is not worth spreading, and I say this because for your claim the video has been blocked all over the world. Very bad TED, I thought you were the good guys.

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    There is still a glaring flaw here. This model could be successful if applied to a racially homogenous society, but that is rarely the case in democracy. Arguments over representation are still inevitable. Even if reps are selected proportionately by race, the population will still argue over ancestral claims. Each race needs to have its own politics, lands, and resources that are resistant to external influence. Linguistics and ideology also need to be accounted for and need to have controlled representation.

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    It seems a strong untainted civic education and excessive training in particular relevant cells would be helpful, but then it wouldn't exactly be sortition, would it? How would that problem be solved?

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    Carlos Argelio

    The Venetian Republic functioned sucessfully during 1.000 years by a system that elected their leaders by random selection!

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    Autumn Apocalypse

    I believe that, in order to "fix" our broken democracy, we need to take money out of politics as well as personal/corporate agendas. Without those, the ones in charge have much more incentive to listen to the people instead of lobbyists.

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    Scott Lynch

    Would the people rioting in the streets because they don’t like the fact that a particular politician got elected be in that randomly selected group? The People of the French Republic were responsible for the execution of 40,000 aristocrats in a brief two year reign of terror, not to mention the constant riots and attack on Churches and churchmen. I’m just saying, democracy is far from perfect.

    I think the main problem here is believing that you can govern away sin. Once people accept the fact that we will never achieve a utopia, they can realize that the only way to make the world better is one person and one interaction at a time. Love your neighbor as your self. Be as proactive and educated as possible. Don’t worry about saving the world just yet. Start by saving yourself, then your family, then friends and coworkers. The day we stop making the government into a god will be the day we start to see change for the better.

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    Brandon Gibbs

    This is just the grounds of local government here in the United states. What many republicans would agree too.

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    Sylvain Auclair

    One problem I see is that ordinary people will feel they cannot influence the government. It has to be coupled with elections. Perhaps elect the government and choose a chamber at random.

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    I'd definitely want to be able to say no. I'm chasing a career, and getting picked to work for the government as a politician would destroy that.

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    Fernando Cabadas

    this idea is clearly better than our current state. don't underestimate the wisdom of everyday people. with that said the pool of people has to be large enought to be considered representative and small enough to exclude certain groups that will be detrimental to the entire population. i want to play this game.

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    I really like this idea, and while I admit it does sound like it would work, I am a bit concerned about one aspect he mentioned- that we would be half led by women, and half by men. Don't get me wrong, I fully support not being led soley by one gender, I am concerned it would limit the randomness. If we went out of our way to make it an even 50-50 split, then it wouldn't truly be completely random, which is what I feel he is pushing for. Not to mention, more and more people are realizing they aren't strictly male or female. How would a 50-50 split work when there are more than two options? Do we change it to a 33-33-33 split, when, even with their growing numbers, there are certainly not an equal amount of nonbinary people as there are men and women? Following this system, it would be a lot easier to be 'randomly' selected to government if you were nonbinary. Another option, of course, is to count them in with their assigned gender at birth, and hopefully I don't need to explain how this would be cruel and wrong to do. So, to finish off, while a 50-50 split among men and women sounds nice, it wouldnt be truly random, and would alienate those who dont consider themself to be a man or a woman. The best choice of action, in my opinion, would be to actually randomly select government officials, even if that means it is not always an even split.

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    Tyler P.

    This may work in the beginning but history has showed that any system that exists long enough, eventually there would emerge a small group of population who have figured out shortcuts and various ways to game the system. Thus we must not stop inventing and evolving. Those who demand the status quo or resisted to changes are really holding back our progress.

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    Spooky Boyy

    Haha right
    The number of people that don’t know the 3 branches of government even instantly make this guy an idiot

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    Skeptic Grandma

    I think it's a very interesting idea and could potentially work, or at least be worth a try, as he said, a gradual change with another senate or house. I believe it would be best to have people choose they would serve, sort of a semi random selection, but I can see potential problems with that as well. Who will oversee the random selection? It would have to be citizens oversight in each district or community to be represented, and no one currently in charge. Would require lots of stats and knowledge of demographics of each area.

    I certainly think it's an idea worth entertaining or at least discussing as it could lead to an even better idea.

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    Erik R

    At least here in the US the average person is completely uninformed on a huge variety of issues. Even for the most well intentioned and dedicated selectees, there'd be at least a six month "catching up" period before they reached the same knowledge level of the people who have been paying close attention to politics for decades. I could see this working in a smaller, better educated society like Switzerland, but practical application somewhere like the US seems impossible

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    Initial question: What is the effect of longer term institutions like lobbying groups and bureaucracies on sortition based governments? I am assuming that the inexperience from a randomly chosen representative would leave them prey to groups with longer institutional memory. I think there's similar evidence seen with governments that implement shortened term limits. Please double check. Thanks.

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    Do juries always get things right? So why would another random group of people, doing a more important job, be any better?
    I am against lifetimes in power, or even over 25 years in power, and I don't like that the rich basically rule us. However I'm not sure this is the best solution.

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    Talha Altınel

    picking politicians with RNG? lol it won't work because it won't be truly random.Humans use pseudo random generators which mimic randomization.It is not a true randomization.

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    Linards Hartmanis

    Well, apparently the world has technically evolved a lot since the ancient times and we have much more complicated laws and most people cannot understand that.

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    How much linguistic gymnastics does it take to convince tens of thousands of listeners that it's a good idea to put control of the entire nation in the hands of random people instead of elected people, or qualified people? That the nation's nukes should be at the whim of your Logan-Paul loving neighbor? How about the masses that LOVE Catching up with the Kardashians?

    I don't loathe society in general, I don't have a complex of 'ugh society is composed of idiots' — it's not. BUT if you select randomly, as is being suggested, you pull in some portion of people who are absolutely unqualified and then give them world-swaying power. This is exactly how you demolish a country overnight, or cause extinction of an entire species via global nuclear war. But hey, it's anti-American so TED publishes it gladly.

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    the disappointed koala

    The biggest issue is that we picking people base on quotas like race, gender, and religion so the government will be more "representative". These things in the end shouldn't matter. Merit and ability does and we should try to vote for the ones who we believe have the most out of the available candidates.

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    Indy Spotes

    I've given this some thought over the years.
    The main problem is that, like jury duty, people that don't want to do it will get out of it leaving behind only those that do want access
    to the position and the power; giving us exactly what we have today.
    Unless, of course, you intend on making it mandatory (after screening processes, validation of citizenship, etc.)
    I suspect I have far less faith in an unwilling leadership group than the speaker.

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    Matt Lambert

    I think this would only work with a tough system of checks and balances; these people may be able to get away with abusing the system. Also, although he seems to be fairly dismissive of the 'my next door neighbour is an idiot' argument, one of the main objections I have to this is that the majority of people are both too easily persuaded and too ideologically fixated (either to the left or right of the spectrum) to make a good job of government, which requires a degree of openness and impartiality, particularly on the bigger issues like liberty/laws, climate policy, or something like Brexit. Although politicians at the moment can be bigots, this can also be resolved by amending democracy, which would be a much more palatable change than a whole new system of government.

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    Pete D

    Great idea, can you imagine the resistance put up by these career politicians. I'd vote in favour of it just to watch the fireworks.

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    Mohammed Odeh

    this system was implemented for hundreds of years in the Roman empire, I don't why it is being neglected in today's politics! may politicians need to manipulate the system to favor their own interests

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    M. C.

    Sortition Democracy does not sound like a great answer and comparing it with what Ancient Greece did is also a pretty poor example because it didn't so work well there either. Groups and individuals were often treated unfairly and without any kind of due process, as there was often confusion about what to do and the motivations of council members often compromised their duty. In the US, nearly every congress person is a lawyer, mainly because vast knowledge of our Constitution and the laws is a requirement in order to understand how you should decide things. A random sampling of people will likely not be qualified to understand what the law is and how to apply it. Would you give them a crash course of how to understand and apply the law? Clearly, even with an education in law, politicians don't always follow what the law states. We saw a recent example of our democrats in the senate ignore the requirement of evidence and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in the Supreme Court nomination case of Brett Kavanaugh, and they did it solely for partisan reasons. Being partisan and ignoring evidence is a big problem, and I think one way to combat it would be term limits for congress, 8 years, just like the term limit for president. Having term limits and bringing in new blood may also help stifle special interests and lobbyists from sinking their hooks permanently into lifelong politicians. Beyond that, lobbying and special interests should be illegal, and we should get the money out of politics.

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    anoy imous

    Yeah, but do we really want the randomly selected kkk, child molester, or serious ex-con in charge? Will be vet them first?

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    TheMasked Artist

    All those countries trying this out. A nice list of all the places I just might move to. Good on them for making an effort to try something different. :]

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    Sourab T

    Isn't there a chance this turn into populist system, e.g. if you have a pot with 70 red balls and 30 blue and you want to choose 10 random…do the math. And how you will put the accountability? … I could just have fun in my term and a lot of money from corruption… What is the motivation of getting anything done?

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    Stephanie Jones

    To speak about these concepts without defining many of the guiding principles such as "liberal democracy" is pretty concerning, if not outright outlandish.

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    Marlon Moncrieffe

    FEDERALLY speaking, I think the House of Representatives should be SELECTED BY LOT rather than POPULARLY ELECTED like our current members of U.S. Congress.

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    Chris Pauler

    Totally agreed! This system in this Country where a person possible as a candidate is ‘Oprah’ is about as corrupt as it gets…yeah, someone who falsely claims Barack Obama is the ‘saviour’ of mankind and willingly purposefully deceives her followers with brainwashing lies is an atrocious idea! The person should not be totally random though, there should be a an extremely thorough background check, and I feel there should be. A required fulfillment of at least 3-4 years U.S. Military Service and served in the finest Armed Forces of the world, in their history as well…there are too many Democratic anti-military shenanigans occurring. At least President Trump was a high-ranking Military Academy student upon graduating high school[this should qualify a candidate for ‘Office’ too]…and could provide a valid legal documentation of citizenship in the U.S. & birth certificate! These should be automatic pre-qual’s. In order to become President of the United States of America! One needs to be very knowledgeable on how to defend our great Country and its legal citizens against enemies, foreign and domestic.

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    Marcel Kühn

    I like it when people think about how to make our system better, but I can't agree on this one and I will name few reasons why this fantasy of randomly selected people would bring major problems with it:
    1: It would not fix corruption. Everday people are as vunerable to corruption as politicians, espacially if they are poor.
    2: To lead, govern, hold public speeches etc. is a skill you have to learn, they have to be educated people, who are able to understand there own political system. Go out in the streets, ask some people to explain some basic laws or how their political system works. I bet you will be very disappointet in the outcome of this.
    3: Point two leads to my third point. Image how the relation with other countries will suffer, if you have a bunch of random people negotiating with highly skilled politicians.
    4: The average person is not guided by logic, they are guided by emotions, the need of importance and the need of social recognition/ acceptance. This could lead to war or other stupid decisions very easily. They don't think in terms of greater good, but mainly in their own interest. Just look at decisions made by the public (Brexit, Trump, Krim etc. most of them are done by fear and maybe some people tried to justify their fear by misinformed logic) and policitical movements like sjw and extreme feminism.
    5: If the economy of a country is well, so are the people, but if you go around the streets and ask the average person why they don't have enough money they blame it on the big companys and "the elite." Chances are they would destroy the economy, which is like cutting the branch you are sitting on.

    But I don't want to just criticize without giving a solution.

    What would you do if you own a company and there are a few job positions you have to fill. Who would you take? Someone who is randomly selected? Nah I don't think so. Someone who is influencial and knows how to talk but who maybe is not an expert in this field, like a politician? I don't think so either.

    You would take the most skilled person you can possibly find for this job. So how about we put people into the ministry of finance who actually have a clue about it and reached expert level. How about we have doctors and nurses dealing with questions about healthcare?

    So now, give me your opinion on this, I'm open to overthink my standpoint.

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    Better to make local and national laws by any citizens at local community meetings. Keep the power spead equally at the bottom.

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    Neo 101

    I like this idea. Anyone that want to lead has an agenda. We need to randomly select a governing council, like a jury. No more single leaders.

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    Louis Cotteta

    Ill take the politicians anyday, the public is not informed enough to make all decisions. I dont trust any subset of the US in the hands of randomly selected persons’ control.

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    This is the stupidest idea I've heard on how to run a government. Who says that if we all thought perfectly rationally parliament would have 50% women and ethnicities that match the population? I vote for people whose policies I agree with and I don't care about race, gender, religion, etc. I'm supposed to be want my representative in parliament to have the same background as me, but not the same political views? In this entire video he doesn't give a single way that random selection is better than democracy

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    Is being dictated to by politicians via the general will and their political party in democracy, any worse than being dictated to by the general will via sortition? Why should people of a higher intellect or morality be dictated to by those of a lesser aforementioned. Even if these randomly sorted folk have the best advice in the world – there's still every chance these "advisers" might be operating under some form of prejudice or influence (such as from the very people who were abandoned for sorted politics in the first place). So who choses the advisers? There's probably a good reason why sortition went out of fashion with the Athenians. Randomly sorted representatives will fair far worse than the elected MP's IMO. All the same, anything that engages people to care more about the running of their lives has to be a progressively good thing. So bring it on and see where the chips fall…

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    Brooklyne Hurley

    These seems like a great idea for many places, but I don't know if it would work in my country, the US. I feel like the majority of Americans are very close minded and conservative. And those that want to infringe upon the rights of others will go to no end abysmal act to get their way.
    Maybe if you only randomly selected from those who don't hold "Us vs Them" mentalities, this could work beautifully.
    however I fully agree that the system of rich white guys governing everybody is a much worse system is this. It's not without its problems, but it's certainly better than what we currently have.

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    David Trojko

    It is interesting to me how many try to change or to fix the system but are not willing to change themselves.

    "If you wanna change the world, you have to change the continent, if you wanna change the continent you have to change the country, if you wanna change the country you have to change the city, if you wanna change the city, you have to change the village, if you wanna change the village you have to change the family, if you wanna change the family you have to change yourself"

    So let us start with ourselves and work our way up to the world. It is a slow and hard process, but it we put effort ("The only thing you can control is effort" – Mark Cuban) we can make it. Stop looking into other and comparing yourself, be the best version of yourself. Work on yourself every single day. I do it myself. It is hard, but I see improvment over the last 15 years. Start today, start now! 😀

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    Joe Zavala

    There's only two stories! The first is the word of Yashua! The second is His= story! Who is he He? And what is His story? The story of how he stole the minds through deception, it is constantly happening! If you're awake you know what i mean!

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    Brian Sykes

    I see some merit in this. But we need people with an appropriate education to be selected. Would we want to be treated by a randomly selected "doctor"? Governing a country is not for the ignorant.

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    David Barnett

    Since the creation of the first nation/state, which some folks say was Egypt, this has always been the status quo. That's some four thousand years, so it's not going to go away. It's business as usual.

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    Alain Koch

    i don’t agree with random selection would work out well. the main problem of democracy is that most voters make choices based on emotion, since they simply don’t have the knowledge needed to understand what would be the best choice on a long term.
    unlike knowledge, emotions can be manipulated.

    your random system has the same problem… a random selected parliament would make their decisions out of emotion.
    socrates described democracy as a boat on high sea where instead of a skilled captain everyone on board would share the steering wheel..
    and your random system would do the same.. and sink the ship.

    The best political system i can think of is one where those with the best qualifications and highest expertise make the choices.
    instead of randomly selecting people there should be a competition in form of a test, where all people who wish to compete and qualify (age, basic education,..) go trough a testing period (for example in form of a simulation where the outcome of their choices and actions would be analyzed by AI the effects on a long term calculated and rated.
    but also classic tests of knowledge or IQ tests could be used in combination.

    after the testing period the candidates with the highest rating are placed in positions according to skills.
    after their terms end, they should act as patrons to their replacements over their first term, to ensure that collected experience is passed on and to avoid radical changes.

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    Connie Criscitello

    People are so stupid. One, America is not a democracy. Two, there is a reason it went into hiding for 2000 years….it's a terrible way to organize society. If you don't think so, try and imagine 5 people (including you) are trying to decide whether to beat you up and take your money. Two of these people (one of them is you) say no. Three say yes…so guess what? It's pretty obvious democracy is pretty close to fascism. The US is a republic, not that republics are any better….China and N.Korea are both republics. Let's try #voluntaryism.

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    Connie Criscitello

    I could go for this as long as the use of violent coercion by government was completely unacceptable.

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    jim hump

    what about the constitution , and how about religion, and immigrants that want to implament any country with their ideologies of their birth place into the new society, or socialist

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    Tube Craft

    Random people that are not interested in decision-making will make random decisions. Politicians exist because they want and are able to make decisions.

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    Marc Vette

    This isn't a new idea, ancient Athens not withstanding. Bill Binney, the former NSA Technical Director for World Operations and NSA whistleblower said this back in 2015. His idea was to pick the Congress and Senate representatives straight out of the phone book. At first, I laughed.

    But, as he went on to say, think about it – they'd have term limits, live in dormitory, apartment type housing and a nominal salary. Without all the distractions of "reelection". Most folks would want to do the best they could while there, and couldn't wait to get back home to their real jobs.

    Then, I realized he was so right. Brilliant, in fact.

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    Al Loomis

    democracy is not broken, because you haven't got it. the usa is an elective aristocracy and the 'aristocrats are doing very well. and any 'what if' that doesn't have an armed militia behind it is childish fantasy. politics is about real power.

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    Jenny Hughes

    This sounds a great idea BUT… It would be almost impossible for very old, injured, very pregnant and some disabled people to 'go to parliament', you have to be fit and relatively healthy because (for me anyway) pain and extreme fatigue would rule me out – so you could never get a real representation of the people. But I think it would be a good start and probably better than what we have now, and today with the internet you wouldn't have to physically go there. you'd somehow have to be able to know which experts were telling the truth and not presenting you with carefully-hidden extreme biases! But yes, I think I'm in favour.

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    Harry North

    All very well to talk of random citizens in ancient Athens. To be a citizen in ancient Athens was to be an aristocrat. There were something like 11 slaves to every citizen.

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    There would be a simple solution to Transition to a Sortition Government in America. All you have to do is Grandfather our current Representatives to their positions in Congress for Life. Our current Representatives would Ram through legislation for a Sortition Government if they knew they would keep their cushy Government jobs for Life. From that point we would slowly Transition to a Sortition Government as our leaders either Die off or Retire. In order to accept the "Grandfather" transition to Sortition, you have to Love Sortition Democracy more than you Hate the people who are currently in Congress. Lol..

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