Against Elections: The Case for Democracy

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Against Elections: The Case for Democracy

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Democracy is in bad health. Against Elections offers a new diagnosis — and an ancient remedy. Fear-mongering populists, distrust in the establishment, personality contests instead of reasoned debate: these are the results of the latest elections. In fact, as this ingenious book shows, the original purpose of elections was to exclude the people from power by appointing an elite to govern over them.

Book Review: Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck | LSE Review of Books

Yet for most of its year history, democracy did not involve elections at all: members of the public were appointed to positions in government through a combination of volunteering and lottery. Based on studies and trials from around the globe, this hugely influential manifesto presents the practical case for a true democracy — one that actually works.

Urgent, heretical and completely convincing, Against Elections leaves only one question to be answered: what are we waiting for? He founded the G Citizens' Summit, and his work has led to trials in participatory democracy throughout Belgium and The Netherlands. He is also one of the most highly regarded literary and political writers of his generation, whose most recent book, Congo: The Epic History of a People , won 19 prizes, sold , copies and has been translated into a dozen languages.

Cogently and persuasively, David Van Reybrouck pleads for a return to selection by lot, and outlines a range of well thought out plans for how sortitive democracy might be implemented. With the popular media and the political parties fiercely opposed to it, sortitive democracy will not find it easy to win acceptance.

Against Elections

Nonetheless, it may well be an idea whose time has come. Coetzee "In compelling us to subject all our received ideas and deeply held convictions to rigorous scrutiny, this fine iconoclastic work could not be more timely. Events Podcasts Apps.

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