Sortition and Direct Democracy

By Yavor Tarinski

Democracy arose from the idea that those who are equal in any respect are equal absolutely. All are alike free, therefore they claim that they are all equal absolutely… The next step is when the democrats, on the ground that they are equal, claim equal participation in everything.

                                                                                                                                                                   Aristotle

paulteachingIn response to the deepening crisis of representation, direct democracy today comes up as an alternative proposal, put forward by the social movements arising worldwide. On the one hand, populists and party functionaries, in an attempt to attract the votes of the vast majority of people who are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, have declared the semi-direct democracy approach of the referendum as their solution to the current crisis [1]. The social movements themselves, on the other, through their own practices, have highlighted the direct democracy approach of networks of ‘’face-to-face’’ assemblies. Discussions in political debates about reforming representative democracy in order to allow for broader citizen participation are becoming more frequent [2], while activists on the streets discuss and attempt to create autonomous structures beyond the state and Capital, which can potentially serve as groundwork for a fairer and more direct-democratic society. Continue reading “Sortition and Direct Democracy”

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