Some keen readers may have noticed that The Inkling has not published a feature article since November last year (when Sustainability was posted). There is another feature in the pipeline, but because it is bigger and better than the first two it is much harder and more time consuming to prepare. To keep you entertained in the meantime, The Inkling has decided to give you some idea of what goes on when The Inkling writes these articles.
Rotating Democracy (sort of like Sortition)
By The Inkling
When looking at how to move towards a sustainable world, one thing keeps coming up – our democracy isn’t working as well as it should.
Even if we elect good people, being in a position of power changes their brains (reducing empathy), plus, of course, baddies tend to gravitate towards positions of power.
We see that vested interests keep getting their way and “the people” aren’t doing anything about it. Then most of us sit back and rely on politicians to fix things, and don’t even bother engaging with politics or the issues well enough to keep the politicians in line.
I keep hearing how the only way to solve our environmental and social problems is to get people to participate in their communities and politics, but how? And even if we managed to convince people to participate more now, how would we stop things from degenerating back to the way they are now at some time in the future (when community enthusiasm lapses)?
How many people love their politicians these days? Who would feel sad if they suddenly lost their jobs? What about political parties and powerbrokers? Who would feel much sympathy for them?
What if instead of electing politicians we took turns? Imagine if politics was like Jury Duty and it was likely that at some time during your life you’d be randomly selected to serve a Parliamentary term (or Council term)?
And what if instead of dissolving the whole Parliament at once, each person’s term expired at a different time, so that Parliament changed the representatives that made it up gradually like an animal replaces cells?
Of course there are lots of details that would have to be sorted out, like rules for how representatives could behave (they’d have to be kicked out if they broke the rules and replaced by the next random person) and the conditions under which a person could “get out of” their turn, but basically the idea would be that “the people” were responsible for governing the place. No more complaining about how crap all the politicians or parties are. And what better way to get people to be interested than to make it likely that they will have to be the one doing the job at some point!
What do you reckon? Would our politicians vote for it?