Rod Rylander: Thinking outside the ballot box

Rod Rylander writes in the OpEdNews website, offering a proposal similar to that of Callenbach and Phillips:

Only a True Democracy Can Meet The People’s Needs; We Need a New Way to Select Representatives to Congress

Given the legislative paralysis we now see in Washington, it is all too obvious that American democracy has been undermined by the influence of party politics, money, lobbyists, and the shallow bread-and-circuses quality of our mass communications.

To remedy things, we need to think outside the box — and I mean way outside the box.

My solution for reforming our dysfunctional, corrupt Congress — specifically, the House of Representatives — is to replace members now tied to the unproductive, toxic system of party politics with ordinary citizens who are qualified but randomly selected. The procedure I envision is this: In each precinct of a congressional district, one person would be selected at random from a body of citizen volunteers who meet qualifying criteria set forth in a Constitutional amendment. The district-wide representative to Congress would then be randomly selected from the body of those picked at the precinct level. No politicking would be allowed at either stage of the selection process — and would in any case be irrelevant to the totally random system of selection. The Congressional term limit would be six years, with staggered selections scheduled annually. The result would be that in each successive year one-sixth of the Congress would consist of new representatives.

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One Response

  1. On a related note, while the proposal in the articles below is still based on elections, the “neighborhood legislature reform” could join Arendt’s councils and soviets as templates for randomly selected legislators being elected or randomly selected from a larger pool of randomly selected legislators:

    http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/greenhut/greenhut-initiative-would-create-true-citizen-legislature/article_85017746-907e-56e9-8e15-e9c15ce78854.html

    http://www.newsreview.com/chico/two-radical-reforms/content?oid=4587162

    Like

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