Political use of sortition from Wikipedia

Examples from ancient to modern excerpted from Wikipedia (September 2011)

From Wikipedia ‘sortition’:


  • Historical
  • Modern
    • Juries are found in courts of law, and in the context of community involvement as citizens’ juries.
    • In 2004 Canadian province of British Columbia asked a randomly selected group of citizens forming the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform to propose a new electoral system for the provincial government. 3 years later the province of Ontario did the same.
    • MASS LBP, a Canadian company inspired by the work of the Citizens’ Assemblies on Electoral Reform has pioneered the use of Citizens’ Reference Panels for addressing a range of policy issues for public sector clients. The Reference Panels use civic lotteries, a modern form of sortition, to randomly select citizen-representatives from the general public.
    • Danish Consensus Conferences give ordinary citizens a chance to make their voices heard in debates on public policy. The selection of citizens is not perfectly random, but still aims to be representative.
    • The South Australian Constitutional Convention was a deliberative opinion poll created to consider changes to the state constitution.
    • Some election laws regarding certain offices in the United States provide that, in the case of a tie between the leading candidates, a coin toss (rather than a runoff election) shall be conducted.
    • In the election of electorate MPs in New Zealand, if there is a tie between the leading candidates and this situation persists after an obligatory recount, the Chief Electoral Officer chooses the MP from among the leading candidates by lot. (The UK [1], New Mexico [2] and other governments have similar rules for breaking ties.)

About Common Lot Sortitionist

Former public television producer-director; initiating culminating career, Common Lot Productions, towards policy-making bodies that are of, BY and for the people.
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