About a year ago I wrote to George Monbiot about sortition. At the risk of becoming a nuisance, I have just written to him again:
Having just read your article “An Ounce of Hope is Worth a Ton of Despair”, I feel compelled to write to you again about a subject I have written to you about before: sortition.
As you may remember, sortition is the democratic alternative to elections. Instead of choosing decision makers by voting – which inevitably leads to having decisions made by members of an ambitious and well resourced elite – why not select decisions makers as a statistical sample of the population? Why not put some of those people who “consistently hold concern for others, tolerance, kindness and thinking for themselves to be more important than wealth, image and power” in a position where they can set policy instead of forcing them to choose between members of a self-serving elite?
I am aware that this is a radical idea – we are living in an election-dominated world and immersed in an election-centric ideology, and any suggestion that this is the source of much of our trouble seems outrageous. It seems to me however that your writing reflects a realization that the existing political system is fundamentally broken. Sortition is a democratic alternative to the status quo, the only one as far as I am aware.
Because it seems so outrageous, Sortition needs a high profile advocate. I think that you are wonderfully suited for this role.
In the past you have responded to my message by an uncommitted “interesting’. May I ask you to consider this idea more seriously? Even if you choose not to take on the role of a sortition advocate, maybe you could lay out your thinking for why you choose not to?