“On the Citizen House: A Disquisitional Fiction” by David Grant

On the Citizen House: A Disquisitive Fiction is a novella of ideas in the form of socratic dialogue wrapped up in a road trip. Formatted as a proto-screenplay, description is sparse, characterization thin. Dialogue and visuals dominate.

The Citizen House is the world’s first national legislature chosen as the original Athenian democrats did — by sortition (by random selection). Two representatives face the challenges of advocating for their disparate views in a legislature demographically more reflective of the entire population than any other.

Amazon e-book: http://tinyurl.com/yao8lckx

68 pages, single spaced. 22,800 words.


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Irish Constitutional Convention was selected via sortition

The Irish vote for marriage equality started at a constitutional convention. The convention was selected by sortition — by random selection … ensuring dispassionate, informed deliberation by statistically-representative citizenry.

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Sortition to choose citizen jury to blacklist corrupt politicians in South Korea elections

In the new book by Shaazke Beyerle, Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice, a randomly chosen group of regular citizens — from a matrix reflecting the whole population — served as a ‘citizen jury’ that confirmed results of an investigation into political corruption.

The outcome of this ‘people power’ campaign was that almost 52% (58 out of 112) of the politicians identified as corrupt dropped out of the race. And of the remaining blacklisted candidates who did run, 68% (59 out of 86)  were defeated.

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“J’ai pas voté” (I didn’t vote) – 46 minute video

This is a well produced video — with many graphics — assessing the current crisis in politics from the French perspective. Sortition is proposed as a solution.


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Sortition insured fair jury for indictment of Texas governor


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Analysis programme BBC R4 24 Feb 2014 – feedback

Interesting that everyday ‘choices’ about schools are seeping into wider population’s understanding about sortition.

Equality by lot

A splendid piece with excellent contributions from Barbara and Peter. (I spoke to the producer and gave him a lot of pointers, but couldn’t do the interview because of a 3-week break in Tenerife)

I was delighted that most of the programme was devoted to lotteries for school and university places. The case for university entrance by lot was well made, as a difficult but inevitable method of choosing between generally well-qualified applicants.

However no mention was made of the highly successful Dutch medical school entry lottery which has stood up very well over the decades. Pity!

Lotteries for school places (seats in the US) produced a less satisfactory result. The obvious fairness of lottery and the unfairness of nearness-to-school were demonstrated.

But the result of using the lottery, especially in Brighton, is deemed ‘unsatisfactory’ because the desired social mixing has not been achieved.

This is entirely predictable, because entry…

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(text) Sortition and Unarmed Peacekeeping as Steps to Abolish War

Steps to Abolish War: Unarmed Peacekeeping and a Two-Legged Democracy

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