In praise of … drawing lots (in The Guardian UK)

In praise of … drawing lots

Experts say that a legislature drawn from the people at random would be more representative, especially of minority communities

Forget campaigns that cost $5.8bn, and which ignore voters outside swing states and seek to reduce their number within them. None of those issues troubled the process by which Egypt’s 10 million Copts chose a new pope. First, over 2,000 clergymen and laymen shortlisted three candidates. Next, a blindfolded boy, himself chosen by lottery, picked out a plastic ball containing one of the three names, the idea being that his right hand doubles as the hand of God. Thus was Pope Tawadros II chosen. Experts say that a legislature drawn from the people at random would be more representative, especially of minority communities. Think it couldn’t happen here? Jury selection shows we are already happy to leave some crucial appointments to chance. And in May, in Runnymede’s Chertsey South and Rowtown ward, the Tory and the independent tied at 503 votes apiece. How was this democratic deadlock broken? By drawing lots, of course.

Advertisements

5 Responses

  1. I am not sure that the hand of God is revealed when drawing lots.
    The ancient Greeks, who did practice selection, never thought that!

    Like

  2. “chemsatain” in the comments thread is hitting all the right notes.

    Like

  3. Please post the link to “chemsatain”

    Like

  4. A legislature drawn from the people at random would certainly contain much more than the collective wisdom of old white male lawyers. Considering the current state of affairs, we could do no worse.

    Like

  5. > Please post the link to “chemsatain”

    Start here and scroll down for more comments.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: