[ExI] More on sortition

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 29 17:13:03 UTC 2009

--- On Sat, 6/27/09, Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it> wrote:
> Dan ha scritto:
>> "Rather than elections, random selection or
>> lot-drawing of the sort
>> used to form juries was the main mechanism for picking
>> civic leaders
>> in ancient Athens, the Republic of Venice and
>> elsewhere in history.
>> Although seldom used today, various lot-drawing
>> schemes (a.k.a.
>> “sortition”) could potentially solve the problems
>> that concern
>> advocates of term limits and campaign finance
>> reform."
>> From "Let’s Toss for It: A Surprising Curb on
>> Political Greed" By
>> Sigmund Knag at:
>> http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=323
>> It's a PDF you can download and read if
>> interested.  Again, not a
>> cure-all -- just a suggestion.
> You could not be aware of it, but sortition is a proposal
> done by the
> Berlusconi's government to reform the self governing body
> of the
> magistrates in Italy. The current problem is the heavy
> politicization of
> a part of the magistrates that protect each other from
> disciplinary
> action due to their partisanships or lack of
> professionalisms.

You mention "proposal."  Has it had any traction?  I wonder if sortition is being applied anywhere right now.
> For an example of the problems we have with the magistrates
> (Judges and
> Pubblic Accusers are currently part of the same body) you
> can read about
> the trial of Ms. Amanda Knox (an US citizen).

I'll have to read up on it.  I reckon the problem seems obvious in this area: people who work closely together often will not challenge each other -- a sort of "harmonization."  Sortition might mitigate some of this, though I imagine a randomly selected judge or public accuser would eventually fall prey to this harmonization.



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