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Sortition and the power of the media.

shiel

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Feb 14, 2011
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David Van Reybrouck wrote an article in the Guardian from which the following is taken.

'In 2004, the British sociologist Colin Crouch came up with the term “post-democracy” to describe this new order:

Under this model, while elections certainly exist and can change governments, public electoral debate is a tightly controlled spectacle, managed by rival teams of professionals expert in the techniques of persuasion, and considering a small range of issues selected by those teams. The mass of citizens plays a passive, quiescent part, responding only to the signals given them.

The Italy of Silvio Berlusconi came closest to fitting this definition ...

Commercial and social media also reinforce one another – picking up each other’s news and bouncing it back to create an atmosphere of perpetual mudslinging. Tough competition, loss of advertising revenue and falling sales prompt the media to produce increasingly vehement reports about increasingly exaggerated conflicts. For radio and television, national politics has become a daily soap opera, and while editors determine to some extent the framing, the script and the typecasting, politicians, with varying degrees of success, try to slant things this way or that. The most popular politicians are those who succeed in altering the script and reframing the debate – in other words, those who can bend the media to their will.

Experiments with sortition have been successfully applied in the US, Australia, and the Netherlands. The most innovative country so far is certainly Ireland. In December 2012, a constitutional convention began work in order to revise several articles of the constitution of Ireland. Its members were not just a committee of MPs working behind closed doors, but a mixture of elected politicians and ordinary people: 33 elected politicians and 66 citizens, drafted by lot, from both Ireland and Northern Ireland. This group met one weekend per month for more than a year.

An independent research bureau put together the random group of 66 citizens, taking account of age, sex and place of birth. The diversity this produced was helpful when it came to discussing such subjects as same-sex marriage, the rights of women or the ban on blasphemy in the current constitution. However, they did not do all this alone: participants listened to experts and received input from other citizens (more than a thousand contributions came in on the subject of gay marriage). The decisions made by the convention did not have the force of law; the recommendations first had to be passed by the two chambers of the Irish parliament, then by the government and then in a referendum.

By talking to a diverse cross-section of Irish society, politicians could get further than they could have by just talking to each other. By exchanging views with elected officials, citizens could give much more relevant input than they could have in an election or a referendum.
What if this procedure had been applied in the UK last week?'

What do p.it think?
 


shiel

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Feb 14, 2011
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17,156
No contributions.

Just proves how brain dead the posters on this forum are.

If it was throwing mud at some one all would be on.
 

Orbit v2

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Dec 8, 2010
Messages
11,728
As a form of consultation I think it's okay, but to actually legislate using it would be completely daft.

There are major question marks in my mind over the range of diversity it encourages, and the power dynamics that emerge from it. My suspicion is that it would be vulnerable to capture by vested interests.

While our present system is far from perfect, the best way forward imo is education, encouraging political engagement in politics as it is. Believe it or not, most politicians are very interested in what people have to say about topical issues, and it's only when the populace is disinterested, that vested interests fill the vacuum.

The idea of deciding something as fundamental as Brexit by effectively an opinion poll is frightening as it would probably provoke a revolution by the losing side.
 

mangaire2

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Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
9,545
No contributions.

Just proves how brain dead the posters on this forum are.

If it was throwing mud at some one all would be on.
if you want a reaction,
just start an "anti-Shinner" thread,
or a Gerry McCabe thread.
yeah - that would get the crocodile tears flowing in torrents !
 

storybud1

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Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
6,742
David Van Reybrouck wrote an article in the Guardian from which the following is taken.

'In 2004, the British sociologist Colin Crouch came up with the term “post-democracy” to describe this new order:

Under this model, while elections certainly exist and can change governments, public electoral debate is a tightly controlled spectacle, managed by rival teams of professionals expert in the techniques of persuasion, and considering a small range of issues selected by those teams. The mass of citizens plays a passive, quiescent part, responding only to the signals given them.

The Italy of Silvio Berlusconi came closest to fitting this definition ...

Commercial and social media also reinforce one another – picking up each other’s news and bouncing it back to create an atmosphere of perpetual mudslinging. Tough competition, loss of advertising revenue and falling sales prompt the media to produce increasingly vehement reports about increasingly exaggerated conflicts. For radio and television, national politics has become a daily soap opera, and while editors determine to some extent the framing, the script and the typecasting, politicians, with varying degrees of success, try to slant things this way or that. The most popular politicians are those who succeed in altering the script and reframing the debate – in other words, those who can bend the media to their will.

Experiments with sortition have been successfully applied in the US, Australia, and the Netherlands. The most innovative country so far is certainly Ireland. In December 2012, a constitutional convention began work in order to revise several articles of the constitution of Ireland. Its members were not just a committee of MPs working behind closed doors, but a mixture of elected politicians and ordinary people: 33 elected politicians and 66 citizens, drafted by lot, from both Ireland and Northern Ireland. This group met one weekend per month for more than a year.

An independent research bureau put together the random group of 66 citizens, taking account of age, sex and place of birth. The diversity this produced was helpful when it came to discussing such subjects as same-sex marriage, the rights of women or the ban on blasphemy in the current constitution. However, they did not do all this alone: participants listened to experts and received input from other citizens (more than a thousand contributions came in on the subject of gay marriage). The decisions made by the convention did not have the force of law; the recommendations first had to be passed by the two chambers of the Irish parliament, then by the government and then in a referendum.

By talking to a diverse cross-section of Irish society, politicians could get further than they could have by just talking to each other. By exchanging views with elected officials, citizens could give much more relevant input than they could have in an election or a referendum.
What if this procedure had been applied in the UK last week?'

What do p.it think?
Considering RTE used to load the audience with Labour lefties a lot and Vinnie always loads his panel it is good to take some of the power out of the media also. They should not be allowed to Frame debate either,, the more democracy the better but there is also no point in having 66 eejits decide on things either.

Politicians and media hounds from D4 simply are not qualified to really debate issues that they have no experience on, you see it all the time, 3rd world immigration pressure on services/housing, Drug gangs, farming, international anything, if anything there needs to be more of this type of consultation, the Swiss cantons are very responsive to local issues, it is also worth watching.
 

Bleu Poppy

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Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
4,570
Perhaps the lack of posts has to do with the fact that thinking people were at work, came home, dined, exchanged a few pleasantries with spouse and offspring, harvested some produce from the garden, weeded a flower bed or two, talked with a neighbour, dropped a child here or there, paid a bill or two online, checked e-mails for messages, chatted with a FB friend or two.... before deciding that it was time to enter the maw that is P.IE?

Then again, it could be that many of those who read the OP were stunned into total gobsmacked silence by the fact that an international commentator in a well renowned publication has given a significant credit to our Taoiseach, his party, and (thereby) the country for the innovative constitutional convention that he promulgated during the second last general election campaign.

Leaving them on the back-foot when it comes to considering the next constitutional convention and the weighty matters that it will be examining.

Now, the fault in Van Reybrouck's argument is that he does not analyse how many of the last constitutional convention's recommendations were acted upon, how many were voted through (Marriage Equality), how many were rejected (Seanad Abolition). But perhaps such detail was not considered necessary for such a piece in an English newspaper.
 

sireland

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sireland

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There are major question marks in my mind over the range of diversity it encourages...
Does the current system produce diverse and proportional representation?

How many unemployed people have been elected to the Dail?

How many single mothers?

How many travellers?

How many people who work in a call-centre from 9-5?

How many nurses?

By comparison, how many solicitors, teachers and estate agents are in there?
 

sireland

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Mar 3, 2016
Messages
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The idea of deciding something as fundamental as Brexit by effectively an opinion poll is frightening as it would probably provoke a revolution by the losing side.
Sortition would never be used in a national poll. Straw man argument.
 

Orbit v2

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Dec 8, 2010
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Sortition would never be used in a national poll. Straw man argument.
Eh.. that was the question asked in the OP.

On your other point - like I said we should encourage more people to engage with politics. To be honest I couldn't care less about sortition. I decided to reply to the OP because he seemed upset about being ignored...
 

shiel

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Feb 14, 2011
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The fact that it should be in addition to the other democratic institutions and not as a replacement is what makes it worthy of consideration.

I thought the article was very good and deserved to be given a bit of attention.
 

Clanrickard

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Equinox

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The problem is, as we saw with the citizens convention, that is just as subject to post democracy subversion as other forms of decision making. Committees can be jerry mandered, the agena set by politicians, it meets behind closed doors rather then in public so you never see what pressure is applied from 'experts' and there is no guarantee it's not subject to prevailing media groupthink on an issue or a single domineering influence.
There would need to be ballance enforced. If an expert is brought in to 'advise' then another with a counter argument should be required. The only way such groups would not be subject to entryism or other manipulation by politics would be to pick the members at random from the public like a jury, but that has problems of it's own in terms of being representitive and competent. Then again I look at the Dail and wonder if we could do any worse by filling the government and opposition benches by random lott.
 

General Urko

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Oct 24, 2012
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I think the old political establishment, which in Ireland have proven to be a treacherous incompetent corrupt shower of complete and utter scumbags have 2 things to contend with which should be making them shyte themselves -

1 A well educated working class
2 Social Media

The ultimate example of this is the way in which the Afrikaner Unionist Criminals delayed the 1948 Education Act from passing into law in Norn Iron for a few years, because they knew those whom they abused would massively benefit from it and come back to haunt them!
Re Brexit, the characterisation by Racists, Classist Shytebags that those working class people who voted to leave were just Les Battersby type racists fails to take into account many things including the fact that the Leavers would have seen the racist criminal way in which Ireland was abused and genocidally racist way Greece was treated (threat of denial of access to medicines!).

Re social media their traditional jackboot enforcers will no longer get away with their acts of pig brutality being unrecorded!

In case anybody actually believes Eurocrats are nice guys -

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/27/greece-blames-drug-companies-shortages
 
Last edited:

Gin Soaked

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Apr 25, 2016
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Urko,

This educated working class?

Do you not mean informed working class?

Attributing Brexit To education is missing the point. It is the misinformation and manipulation that swung that.

We need educated working classes for many, many reasons, but political decisions should not require higher education. Just objective facts.
 

sireland

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
Messages
77
The problem is, as we saw with the citizens convention, that is just as subject to post democracy subversion as other forms of decision making. Committees can be jerry mandered, the agena set by politicians, it meets behind closed doors rather then in public so you never see what pressure is applied from 'experts' and there is no guarantee it's not subject to prevailing media groupthink on an issue or a single domineering influence.
There would need to be ballance enforced. If an expert is brought in to 'advise' then another with a counter argument should be required. The only way such groups would not be subject to entryism or other manipulation by politics would be to pick the members at random from the public like a jury, but that has problems of it's own in terms of being representitive and competent. Then again I look at the Dail and wonder if we could do any worse by filling the government and opposition benches by random lott.
Sortition is not a silver bullet that will resolve all the problems of modern democracy overnight.

Electoral democracy is accepted as the norm on the basis that it is the least worst of the alternatives available.

That was probably true 50 years ago, but today, the influence of private media and wealth over politics has reached such proportions that we must re-evaluate if electoral democracy is the least worst solution. We should never accept that we have arrived at the end of a journey when it comes to democracy. A 100 years ago, women weren't allowed vote. Should we have stopped then?

Looking at what is happening in the UK at the moment, where the Tories are trying to determine which candidate is preferred by Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch, I find it very hard to understand how people think we have the "least worst" system.
 

shiel

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Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
17,156
Sortition is not a silver bullet that will resolve all the problems of modern democracy overnight.

Electoral democracy is accepted as the norm on the basis that it is the least worst of the alternatives available.

That was probably true 50 years ago, but today, the influence of private media and wealth over politics has reached such proportions that we must re-evaluate if electoral democracy is the least worst solution. We should never accept that we have arrived at the end of a journey when it comes to democracy. A 100 years ago, women weren't allowed vote. Should we have stopped then?

Looking at what is happening in the UK at the moment, where the Tories are trying to determine which candidate is preferred by Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch, I find it very hard to understand how people think we have the "least worst" system.
But representative democracy whether by sortition or universal suffrage is open to manipulation by the most powerful institution in a democracy the media.

They pretty well determine public opinion.

The Brexit in the UK and the bankrupting of this country took years of day in day out repetition of mantras in media.
 

sireland

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Mar 3, 2016
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But representative democracy whether by sortition or universal suffrage is open to manipulation by the most powerful institution in a democracy the media.
Not to the same extent.

Representatives, whether chose by lot or ballot, are less likely to be manipulated than ordinary voters, as they have the capacity and motivation to examine issues carefully and base their decisions on objective evidence.

However, elected representatives are open to indirect manipulation. The media tells voters how to think, and voters then apply the necessary pressure to their representatives, who lose their seats of the don't comply.

That dynamic does not apply in the case of representatives chosen by lot.
 


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