Sortition Foundation AGM, book launch, G1000 tour and more!

Spring is coming and the Sortition Foundation has an action-packed March chock-full of events, not least of which is our second Annual General Meeting happening on Wednesday March 15 at 8:30pm at Mildreds Restaurant in Kings Cross. If you plan on coming along please send us an email to let us know.

book launch general

Otherwise if you are in (or near) Brighton, London, Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh or Cambridge then here is an event or two for your calendar:

Brighton: 7pm Monday March 13 @ The Blue Man Cafe: The End of Politicians book launch and G1000 information evening (Facebook event)

CSDLondon: 6pm Tuesday March 14 @ Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster: Reinvigorating democracy through random selection (Facebook event)

London: 7pm Wednesday March 15 @ Housmans Bookshop: The End of Politicians book launch and G1000 information evening (Facebook event)

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G1000 Kick Off in the UK – Cambridge, September 24th

against-elections.jpgIf Brexit proved anything, it proved that what Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels say in Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government is true. People do not vote after careful consideration of facts and options, they vote to affirm their membership of various social groups and express agreement with the opinions of those groups, which may have little or nothing to do with the issue at hand being voted upon.

As David Van Reybrouck expressed so eloquently in his article, Why elections are bad for democracy (an extract from his book Against Elections) there is something very wrong with voting and elections and there is a much better way to do democracy: select a representative random sample of ordinary people, provide them with balanced information, and let them deliberate together to find out not what people do think, but what they would think, if given the time and information together with a good deliberative process.

From 11am to 4pm on September 24th, in Cambridge at the Six Bells Pub, a group of volunteers will meet to kick-off the process of bringing Van Reybrouck’s brainchild – a G1000 – to the UK for the first time. The dream is to bring a randomly selected group of 1000 residents together for one day in early 2017, to deliberate and decide together what is best for Cambridge.

But we need your help to make it a reality. We need people to donate their time and their energy to help organise such an event. We will need fundraisers, social media ambassadors, technicians, volunteers, cooks and a whole host of other help. Can you be one of these people? If so please join us, get in touch or come along to the G1000 Kick-off in Cambridge on September 24th.

[This post is from the Sortition Foundation blog: http://www.sortitionfoundation.org/g1000_kick_off_in_the_uk_cambridge_september_24th]

Why Citizen Juries should decide Canada’s Voting Method and Election Rules


A brief by Simon Threlkeld to Canadian House of Commons Electoral Reform Committee, July 26, 2016, briefly explains why election rules, including those setting out the voting method, should be decided by jury, not by politicians or a referendum, and how such a jury approach to democratically deciding election rules could work.

4. Were there no good democratic alternative to politicians deciding the election rules, then perhaps we would be stuck with that very flawed approach. However, there is an excellent and highly democratic way to decide the rules, namely by using citizen juries, or as they can also be called, minipublics or citizens’ assemblies.

(In his brief to the Committee Dennis Pilon has some interesting things to say about referendums and how electoral reform in Canada has long been blocked by the self-interest of politicians. All of the briefs the Committee has posted so far at their website are good, it seems to me. Mine is so far as I know the only one they have received recommending that election rules be decided by citizen juries.)

Sortition merchandise

voting-tess

One way to advocate for sortition is to wear its messages or display them on your bag, phone case, etc. It turns out that there are various websites that make it quite easy nowadays to create merchandise with your favorite designs and distribute it worldwide.

I just created T-shirts with the “voting is the problem” cartoon that I made some time ago. Feel free to buy those shirts for yourself or for your friends and family and wear them proudly to disseminate the sortition message. Please let me know if you would prefer different merchandise with the same design.

Admittedly, this is a very amateurish design, but if Equality-by-Lot readers see fit maybe we can raise some money to fund the creation of professional designs. Also, if readers have designs they made that they would like to contribute, please let me know.

BTW, I make absolutely no money from the sale of those shirts. Things could be set up, however, so that some money from the proceeds of the sales go to the designer and such money can then be used to fund various activities associated with promoting sortition, such as the creation of more and better designs.

What is a G1000? (Cambridge and London events)

The Sortition Foundation is organising two free events (in London and Cambridge): What is a G1000?

Our aim is to hold one G1000 in London and one in Cambridge in late 2016 or early 2017. As such we are organising these two information sessions “What is a G1000?” with the founders of the Dutch G1000, Harm van Dijk and Jerphaas Donner.

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Sortition – Part 2: the book, the AGM, and a strategy

The End of Politicians screeenshotHere’s the latest on the new book on sortition, and two events in London next week: the Citizens’ Parliament strategy meeting, and the Sortition Foundation’s first Annual General Meeting.

Read on for more details on all of the above.

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First meeting of Sortition Ireland

Garreth McDaid has announced the first meeting of an organization he calls “Sortition Ireland”. The meeting is to take place in Dublin on April 12th at 8pm. Virtual attendance will also be possible.

[Via Google Alerts.]