Talk:Sortition

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Untitled[edit]

It is said that even the etymology of "ballot" reflects the role of sortition in ancient times, but someone needs to check the OED to make sure this is an accurate reflection.

Selection by lot: drawing straws, rolling dice, etc.

Slightly amplify the reference to "qualification" so that "random" sounds less silly.

Aristotle and classical analysis of sortition[edit]

The entry currently says that "Arguably, selection by lot is a more democratic process than election by vote, since sortition is less influenced by money and fame. Aristotle and other classical writers who discussed the subject took this view."

While there are statemnts by Aristotle (Politics, book 4, chap. 9) saying that sortition is democratic, I am unaware of any specific argument offered by him for why this is so. The same, as far as I know, is true for Montesquieu and Rousseau. All these authors seem to take it for granted that sortition is democratic, but fail to provide any arguments. I think the entry should be changed to correctly describe this situation. --Drono 04:14, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Text from Allotment[edit]

The following text was on Allotment, which was looking nothing like the dab page it claimed to me. It seems a bit too good just to delete, so I'm putting in here for someone to merge into this article if thought appropriate. Cheers --Pak21 11:30, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Main article: sortition

Allotment (also known as sortition) is a method of selection by some form of lottery such as drawing coloured pebbles from a bag. It was commonly used in Ancient Greek Democracy. It is thought that allotment originally developed from the use of oracles to divine the will of the gods, but by the time of Ancient Greeks like Herodotus it was a key part of the the Athenian political system.

Athenian Democracy developed out of a notion of isonomia (equality of political rights), and Allotment was the principle way of achieving this fairness[1]. Greek "Democracy" (literally meaning rule by the people) was literally run by the people: the administration was in the hands of committees allotted from the people. Although it may seem strange to those used to Liberal Democracy the Athenian Greeks considered Elections to be undemocratic[2]. This was because citizens chosen on merit or popularity contradicted the democratic principle of equality of all citizenry. In addition allotment prevented the corrupt practise of buying votes as no one could know who would be selected as a magistrate or to sit on the Jury.

Athenian Democracy used allotment to select around 90%[2] of the magistrates for their governing committees. Only in exceptional cases such as generals of the army (strategoi) did Athenians vote for candidates (even Greeks saw the benefit of selecting their generals on merit rather than principle[2]). Their huge juries (typically 501) were allotted using sophisticated machines to ensure jurors were fairly allocated. These juries not only tried cases, handed down sentences (see the trial of Socrates), but could also overturn laws passed by the citizen's assembly.

Allotment is today restricted mainly to the selection of jurors in Anglo-Saxon legal systems like the UK and US.

For the use of lots in divination see Cleromancy.

Fairness[edit]

Selection bias and the potential incorrect math, sortition is not certain to be fair and any statement alledging it's fairnss should refer to respected source on statistics/probability applications. i kan reed 00:54, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Demarchy[edit]

Much of the pros and cons for Sortition are found in a similar form in the Demarchy article. I'm thinking that Demarchy should be merged into this article as a result. --One Salient Oversight 11:57, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

See main discussion on the Demarchy talk page. 66.127.54.23 (talk) 03:59, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Aristotle on Wikisource[edit]

I see that this article references Aristotle's "Politics"... It seems the text of this is online in wikisource... I am not sure how to read these references to be honest... to find the corresponding quotes in the book... Could someone clarify that for me? Also, why not provide a link to the wikisource text? LordBrain (talk) 03:38, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Politics_%28Aristotle%29

I came across the same issue and managed to find the cited text, except it's not cited correctly, according to the translation in Wikisource. The number within square brackets in the citation refers to the same section in the book:

"[...] as, for instance, as it seems correspondent to the nature of a democracy, that the magistrates should be chosen by lot, but an aristocracy by vote [...]"

In other words, it seems to me that Aristotle was merely reporting the differing opinions of his times about such topics, but not endorsing any one of these opinions. Moreover, Wikisource's translation talks about Magistrates, not generic public offices as it's reported here. Which one is right? --Bafio (talk) 15:28, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "MorgenIsonomia" :
    • The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes", [[Mogens Herman Hansen]], ISBN 1-85399-585-1
    • The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes", Mogens Herman Hansen, ISBN 1-85399-585-1

DumZiBoT (talk) 02:31, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Appreciation[edit]

The reading of this article has been one of the best experiences of roaming the Wikipedia so far. I simply want to credit all the contributors for this. This was unexpected and gave way to new realizations, and renewed political enthusiasm in me. Thanks --Xact (talk) 22:37, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

a fictional view[edit]

My favorite passage from Ken MacLeod's novel Dark Light:

Drawing lots is fair, even if it sometimes throws up a freak result. With elections you’re actually building the minority problem right in at every level, and lots more with it – parties, money, fame, graft, just for starters. What chance would that leave ordinary people, what chance would we have of being heard or of making a difference? Elections are completely undemocratic, they’re downright antidemocratic. Everybody knows that!

Tamfang (talk) 23:07, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Enthusiasm of the representatives[edit]

You can ensure representatives are enthusiastic about representing the population by a lottery system: each person who is enthusiastic can get one ticket. Then draw among the ticket holders instead of the whole population. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.206.137.118 (talk) 16:09, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Herodotus 3.80
  2. ^ a b c The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes", Mogens Herman Hansen, ISBN 1-85399-585-1