Presidential Selection by Lottery?

The latest on sortition from Italy. Not sure I see the advantage of having the head of state selected by sortition, and equally unsure why it should be so important to exclude anyone from the draw for such a (largely ceremonial and apolitical) post. More consideration of these topics seems appropriate.

http://www.internauta-online.com/2014/04/sortition-will-have-to-wait-for-a-great-leader-who-will-renege-the-ballot-democracy/

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2 Responses

  1. @Peter
    I do understand why it is important to exclude people who are not qualified. The president is the representative of a whole nation. A lot of these “ceremonial” duties are highly publicized. A good president, although not having “real” power can smooth out issues, both within a country as well as with other countries. At the same time, especially in foreign relations, controversial statements by a head of state can lead to a lot of issues, obviously. This is why I think you cannot just pick anyone for the role.

    That being said, there is no reason to have sortition in order to get non-politicians with a good record into that job. For Germany, selecting individuals that are often not politicians but have a distinguished record of public service has worked very well in the past.

    Especially for Italy I find this notion curious. Isn’t the president currently the least controversial and most “stable” person in what sometimes looks like a circus?

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  2. I like it. A great problem with elected ceremonial presidents is that they often aren’t keen on staying ceremonial. They have a direct mandate and, if they are popular, can often expand the role of their offices leading to semipresidentalism or sometimes even full-blown presidentialism. This is a fine third option.

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