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Sortition, or selection by lot, from the Latin sortiri,
has a long history of use, going back to the ancient Solonian Constitution of
Athens, and serving the Republic of Venice well for 760 years. Rule by lot is called demarchy or klerostocracy, from the Greek kleros (κλερος), casting lots. Today it is
mainly used for the selection of juries, but the abuses of the electoral
process, resulting from the need for candidates to raise large sums of money
from donors who expect something in return, and the politicization of the
appointment or election of judges, makes it appropriate to consider amending
constitutions and laws to make more use of various forms of sortititon.
Let's Toss for It: A Surprising Curb on
Political Greed, by Sigmund Knag, Independent Review, Vol. 3 No. 2,
Defense of the Constitutions of the United States, Vol. I, Letter XIX: Venice, by John Adams, 1787. History of the Republic of Venice and their use of sortition in a constitutional framework.
How to Pick
Our Leaders: Should We Try a Lottery?, by Dick Dougherty, The
Independent Institute, January 7, 1999.
Demos: Classical Athenian Democracy, Christopher blackwell, editor. Site devoted to the analysis and discussion of how sortition worked in ancient Athens.
Solon and Sortition, article on "Archon", The
Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Ed., Vol. II, 1910.