How to insure sortition would be attractive to most?

These two articles about the salaries, or lack thereof, offered to state legislators make me wonder about two aspects of any prospective sortitioned legislature.

The first is the question of how to attract and sustain participation, particularly regarding financial support.

The second, consequentially, is whether or not citizens should be required to actively submit their names to the pool for sortition. [“Not required” would be, then, as juries are chosen. “Required” would require registration…and possibly, further, a basic competence test — a la driver’s licences.]

Granted, both topics have been previously discussed in this blog. But I recall there is no agreement about either.

http://www.alamogordonews.com/opinion/ci_22656513/n-m-s-citizen-legislature-is-an-oxymoron

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/feb/27/where-do-nevadas-legislators-rank-nationally-salar/

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4 Responses

  1. David – since, as you say, these topics have been discussed before, could you summarize the arguments presented so far? This way we won’t have to start from scratch.

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  2. The payment of randomly-selected jurors is generally viewed as the single factor that made Athens a democracy. Registration was voluntary but this was counterbalanced by a culture that viewed those who didn’t participate in politics as contemptible. It’s hard to see the latter development in large modern states where citizens are not routinely called on to defend the polis (political participation in Athens was closely related to civic defence, at least during the 5th century). Hence the modern analogue of Athenian democracy would require payment and no voluntary registration.

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  3. Thank you, Yoram, for pointing to the previous thread. I had not seen that discussion. It speaks to the issues.

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