Posted on April 18, 2017 by Jonathan Crock
From an interview with Jacques Rancière on the French Presidential Elections (translated from the original in French):
How would you organise collective life without representatives? By drawing lots — a measure you supported in your 2005 book Hatred of Democracy?
We should distinguish between delegation and representation. In a democracy, logically enough some people will carry out certain activities on other people’s behalf. But the delegate plays her role only once, which is not true of representatives. Drawing lots was once the normal democratic way of designating delegates, based on the principle that everyone was equally capable. I proposed bringing it back in order to reverse the drive toward professionalisation. But that is no simple recipe, any more than non-renewable mandates are. These tools are only of interest if they are in the hands of a vast popular movement. Democracy does not exist without these pressures emerging from outside the system, pressures that shake up the institutions of the state — like the “squares movements” did recently. Democracy presupposes that institutions autonomous of state structures and state agendas are able to make these egalitarian moments last.
Filed under: Academia, Elections, Sortition | Tagged: France, Rancière | 5 Comments »
Posted on April 1, 2017 by Jonathan Crock
Here are some brief notes on a workshop on sortition held at McGill University.
“Representation, Bicameralism, and Sortition: With Application to the Canadian Senate”
McGill Sortition Workshop: Randomly Selecting the Canadian Senate
I had the pleasure of attending a fascinating one-day workshop on sortition and replacing the unelected Canadian Senate with a randomly selected Citizen Assembly that was held on December 9, 2016, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Peter Stone (Political Science, Trinity College Dublin), Alex Guerrero (Philosophy, Rutgers), and Arash Abizadeh (Political Science, McGill) each presented papers on sortition in separate sessions.
In advance of the workshop, Abizadeh did a radio interview (at 21:10) on Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe seemed very receptive to the idea of replacing the Canadian Senate with a randomly selected Citizen Assembly. Abizadeh also published an article in the Montreal Gazette in advance of the event.
This event was a timely opportunity to inject sortition theory and practice into current discussion of reforming the unelected Canadian Senate. Canadian Senator Paul Massicotte participated in the public forum and wrote a diatribe—“A randomly selected Canadian Senate would be a disaster”—against sortition following the workshop. Yoram Gat in his post on this insightfully commented on how exceptional such a response is: “It is an indication of the precarious position of the Canadian Senate with its non-electoral appointment procedure that the Senator feels that the proposal to appoint the Senate using sortition requires a refutation. It is a feeling that, as far as I am aware, no elected member of parliament has ever shared in modern times.”
Filed under: Academia, Applications, House of Lords, Proposals, Sortition | 13 Comments »
Posted on April 1, 2017 by Jonathan Crock
An upcoming session in the Political Studies Association’s Annual International Conference 2017:
Participatory and Deliberative Democracy: Sortition and Democratic Representation
Room: Executive Room B
Time Slot: Wednesday 12th April 11:00 – 12:30
Panel Chair: Dr John Boswell (University of Southampton)
- Mr Keith Sutherland (University of Exeter)
- Dr Brett Hennig (Sortition Foundation)
- Dr Peter Stone (Trinity College Dublin)
- Mr Dimitri Courant (University of Lausanne & University Paris 8)
We are witnessing something of a revival in support for sortition, with the idea popularised in particular in David Van Reybrouck’s recent Against Elections: The Case for Democracy. Although the debate around the use of sortition has typically been tied to discussion of mini-publics, this panel seeks to look more broadly at its relationship to democratic theory and democratic practice more broadly conceived. It brings together proponents and sceptics, normative theorists and those whose work is more applied, for a contemporary, lively and varied debate on this age-old topic.
Filed under: Academia, Deliberation, Participation, Sortition, Theory | 5 Comments »
Posted on January 8, 2017 by Jonathan Crock
There’s a new illustration (January 2017) from a New Yorker cartoonist that depicts a man standing up on an airplane and saying: “These smug pilots have lost touch with regular passengers like us. Who thinks I should fly the plane?” The crowd of passengers all raise their hands.
This cartoon has received over 35,800 likes and 19,600 retweets on Twitter and sparked coverage and a debate in USA Today, “‘The New Yorker’ mocks Trump voters and triggers a debate on (smug) experts.”
Filed under: Elections, Press, Sortition, Theory | Tagged: Art, image | 19 Comments »