A Message from Ted Wachtel, BANR Founder and Editor
November 29, 2018
It’s about three weeks after the 2018 mid-term elections in the United States. Of course, we Americans made only thoughtful choices in our voting.
The hell we did.
In our hurried workaday lives, who has time to get to know all these people who are running for all these local, county, state and national offices? Plus, study any referendum issues on the ballot?
We have the illusion that in an election, we are making thoughtful choices. But informed voting is an impossible dream for most of us, and likely self-delusional for those few of us who claim to be meaningfully informed.
So, what could we do differently? How can we achieve true representation for all of our views?
If you haven’t already, please read the last three BANR blog posts for some interesting possibilities for the future of democracy.
Latest Three Blog Posts on Governance
True Representation: Election versus Sortition by Ted Wachtel
Most people believe that voting is democracy, and that an election is the only way to choose officeholders…but they are mistaken.
The Irish Citizens’ Assembly chooses representatives by lottery, not election by Brett Hennig
From October 2016 to April 2018, ninety-nine randomly selected Irish citizens did an incredible thing: they made policy recommendations to their government. And what’s more, the government listened and responded. The most well-known proposal put forth by this Irish Citizens’ Assembly was that the Irish constitutional ban on abortion be removed. The resulting referendum—in May, 2018—did just that.
What if Brexit had been an Irish Referendum? by Ted Wachtel
Would the outcome of the decision for the U.K. to leave the European Union have been different if a citizen’s assembly about Brexit had framed the discussion for the referendum, instead of professional politicians.
Upcoming Blog Posts on Governance
Two weeks from now, Kerra L. Bolton, the award-winning freelance journalist who wrote our recent series on restorative practices in Detroit, will provide her assessment of sortition and its possible implementation at a state level.
In next week’s blog post, Brett Hennig, author of The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy, will speculate on a radical idea: A U.S. Senate Picked by Lottery, not Election: How Would It Work?
Right now, I suggest you watch this fabulous 10-minute Ted Talk by Brett:
“What if we replaced politicians with randomly selected people?”
In the spring, we will offer a series of participatory online events, beginning in late April.
Subscribe now to get weekly blogposts and updates…and enjoy the holiday season.