Why not scrap elections entirely?

This is NOT a party political issue, but one that concerns the welfare and peace of mind of everyone:

David Van Reybrouck in his book, “Against Elections”, argues that there is a more democratic alternative to elections: random selection of people to political office.

Incredulous? Well, think about it. The current situation is not working. Young people, by and large, are not interested and many don’t vote. The rate of voting generally is pathetic, and only countries like Australia, which have compulsory voting, have respectable turnouts. I won’t discuss the details of how disfunctional the American system is because it is getting into the realm of party politics.

The British system is not much better. The make-up of parliament does not reflect the distribution of population, and despite the Boundaries Commission. Britain is an elected dictatorship, depending on the occasional internal party revolt to get rid of the prime minister.

Given the caliber of Congressmen and Members of parliament in both countries, why not simply select ordinary people to political office totally at random? We couldn’t do much worse. In this way we would get a good cross-section of ages, genders, race, parts of the country, experience and careers). Gone would be the friends of friends, the people who turn up with personal agendas, the money in politics. There is even a possibility that the randomly chosen people would use their common sense, be pragmatic and be able to compromise to get things done.  Especially  they should address chronic inequality and money and gerrymandering in politics.  This idea is not only a sensible answer to our problems, but an Epicurean answer.

The ancient Athenians staffed their governments like this (although it didn’t stop them, disastrously, trying to establish an empire when they became successful). It seemed to work. But first we would have to do something about education, because the level of education is mind-blowingly awful, although most people don’t register the fact.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.