Abstract

Part 1 of this article, which appeared in the first installment of the Common Knowledge symposium “Antipolitics,” presented reasons why elections are an inappropriate method for selecting representatives in a democracy. Part 2, published in the symposium's second installment, offers arguments for why sortition — the selection of shorter‐duration representatives by lottery from the general population — is the best procedure for democracy. Random selection can assure broad diversity and descriptive representation, and it allows those people selected to overcome the rational ignorance that plagues elections. Concerns about the competence of ordinary people who are randomly selected are addressed. The issues of corruption and policy accountability are examined to show that elections cannot provide the genuine accountability ensured by random selection. Some specific design considerations for an optimal sortition‐based democracy are also presented.

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