Terry Bouricius on democracy beyond elections

Submitted by webmaster on Mon, 24-04-2023 - 16:10

Interview met Terry Bouricius: voormalig politicus, vooraanstaand theoreticus over loting, en bedenker van een uitgewerkt meerkamerlotingssysteem: multi-body sortition.

(18 oktober 2022, 1 uur en 20 minuten)


'Elections fan divisiveness. The partisan loyalties and tribalism end up actually overwhelming genuine deliberation.'

'The diversity that you achieve through random selection actually trumps the so-called expertise of politicians'

'The expertise of politicians is not in the realm of policy. Their expertise is public relations and how to win elections. When they have to vote on an issue, eight out of ten or nine out of ten members know nothing about the bill they are voting on.'

'The self-selection bias of politicians is actually a major detriment to the electoral process.'

'The strategy that I recommend is what I call peeling: peeling away one policy domain at a time. (...) The analogy I use is what happened to the monarchies in Europe. They still exist, but they are powerless. Congress would still exist, but they are basically naming post offices. They're doing trivial things, where the important decisions are done democratically by ordinary citizens in representative samples that are large enough to be statistically representative of the population.'

'The people who control the agenda and the people who control the flow of information to the jury, they are basically in control. So it is essential that that process also be democratic. Meaning, a randomly-selected group of citizens, will oversee the staff.'

'It is true that ordinary people making decisions when they have no reason to be well-informed, and they don't want to spend the time, is problematic. But the fact is: that is exactly what we have with elections. (...) Elections assure that people that are ill-informed, will be choosing the leaders. (...) The least-informed way of making decisions, is by using elections.'

'We all think that ordinary people would agree with us if they just knew what we knew. And that is the magic and the potential for sortition. (...) We can rally people from all political perspectives. They only people who we can't rally, are elected politicians.'

'Competitive elections almost require — they certainly encourage — false information. (...) You can't have the honest discussion, because the goal of the politicians is not to be honest; it's to win an election.'

' "This is the most important election of our lifetimes". I've heard that every year that I've been alive. And it's always true, because things are getting worse and worse.'

Zie ook: