ELECTION, in politics, is the choice of public officers by the vote of those who are entitled to exercise the elective franchise. This is to be distinguished, on the one hand, from the appointment of officers by a superior, as by a king, a president, a governor, or a mayor; and, on the other hand, from their selection by lot. The last-named method of choosing public officers was considered by Aristotle one of the characteristic features of a popular government. It has been advocated by other writers, because of its tendency to prevent the formation of political parties. Party organization, the caucus, the coalition of different factions, the corruption of voters, the falsification of election returns, the interest of a particular candidate and kindred evils, it is argued, will all be swept away if officers are selected by lot.
Posted on June 14, 2011 by Yoram Gat