The demarchy (made up of the ancient Greek δῆμος demos “people” and ἄρχειν archein “be first, rule”) is a democratic form of rule in which government and representatives are determined by lottery and not by elections . The demarchy shows parallels to deliberative democracy .
History of the idea and the concept
The Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote in his work Politica : "For example, I am of the opinion that it is to be viewed as democratic when the rulers are determined by lot, while elections must be viewed as oligarchic ."
The term demarchy was made famous by the Australian philosopher John Burnheim . Newer terms for this form of rule are aleatoric democracy or aleatoric- representative democracy (in contrast to electoral- representative democracy ).
Demarchies in History
The demarchy was practiced partly within the framework of the ancient polis in Greece , especially in Athens, to curb corruption or violence during election campaigns: city councilors, judges and most offices were determined by lot. However, women, slaves and metics were not allowed as candidates. In addition, there was a concentration of power in the remaining electoral office of the strategos .
Maritime Republic of Venice
The Doge of Venice was also determined using a procedure that contained demarchical elements. If the first doges were elected by a people's assembly (arrengo), this practice was gradually replaced by a complicated mixture of lottery , majority and proportional representation . In this way, election fraud , election manipulation and corruption in the run-up to the election should be practically ruled out. This system remained in use , with slight modifications, until the end of the Republic of Venice in 1797. Similar procedures were also used in the other Italian Maritime Republics .
There were and are different concepts for realizing a demarchy. Both representatives of the people in decision-making bodies and officials can be chosen at random. Decision-making bodies can either be set up for one legislative period or only for a specific decision. They function in the broadest sense as a government or there is a body for each area (education, environment, economy, etc.). Another aspect concerns the question of whether there is an obligation to participate in the lottery or whether you can also decide against it. The selection base could also be narrowed down (according to age, educational level, interest, experience, etc.).
In 2013, Terrill Bouricius and David Schecter distinguished five different areas in which drawn citizens could shape politics:
- Draft of a single law (implemented e.g. in the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly in Canada)
- Drafting laws within a policy area (e.g. implemented in the Convention on the Constitution in Ireland)
- Lottery as an element of a citizens' initiative or a referendum
- A drawn chamber as a replacement for a selected chamber in a two-chamber system (not yet implemented)
- A drawn legislature to replace an elected legislature that carries out the entire legislative process (not yet implemented)
Elements of Demarchy in Political Practice Today
Lay judges and juries
In many countries lay judges are used to conduct the trial together with professional judges. The lay judges are either chosen by lot from the population or can apply. At German lay judges' courts , they have practically the same powers as the professional judge and can even overrule them. In criminal proceedings, juries are also used in many countries , which decide on the question of guilt independently of the judge. While many court systems, such as those in Great Britain, France or Austria, only use juries for particularly serious crimes, in the USA they are used in all criminal proceedings and even in most civil proceedings.
Citizens' Juries and Planning Cells (USA and Germany)
Planning cells (Germany)
A similar procedure to Ned Crosby's Citizens' Jury has been developed in Germany in the field of political planning by the sociologist Peter Dienel as a concept of the planning cell , in which the members of an advisory committee are not appointed but from the (e.g.) residents of a planned area To be redeemed. Proponents believe that this procedure “has worked quite well, from the local to the European level”.
Citizens' Juries (USA)
A procedure similar to that of Peter Dienel's planning cell was developed by Ned Crosby in the USA (1971) - it is based on the jury. Developed in 1974 as the Citizens 'Committee at the Jefferson Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA), the methodology was named Citizens' Jury in the late 1980s "to protect the process from commercialization".
Citizens' Committee on Constitutional Reform (Iceland)
The Icelandic parliament was in 2010, draw lots a group of 1000 citizens, should make proposals for a new constitution. 25 people were then selected from among them to draft a new constitution. The proposal for the new Icelandic constitution was drawn up independently of parliament and private interest groups. However, suggestions from other citizens who could participate in the process through Facebook and other social media were also considered. In a subsequent referendum, the constitution was approved by a two-thirds majority of voters. However, the Icelandic Parliament has so far refused to adopt the constitution, which is necessary under the current constitution. A final decision is still pending.
Citizens' Committee on Suffrage Reform (Canada)
In the Canadian province of British Columbia in 2004 a group of 160 citizens was drawn by lot to propose changes to the electoral law in the so-called Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform . The committee deliberated for a year, the participants received a remuneration of 110 euros for each day of deliberation. The process consisted of a training phase, a consultation phase and a decision-making phase. It was observed that significant investment would be required to raise the members of the group to a level that would allow them to find and present appropriate suggestions. In a referendum carried out in 2005, the proposal to change the electoral law failed with just under 57.7 percent approval (at least 60 percent were necessary).
Citizens' jury on the beverage deposit legislation (Australia)
In 2000, the Environment Minister of the Australian state of New South Wales commissioned the Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF) in Sydney with a study on the legislation for a deposit on beverage containers. In connection with this task, the institute selected a citizens' jury at random. This should weigh up the various options for a circulatory system, taking into account the acceptance of those involved. The jury was not influenced by either industry or environmental associations. The participants showed that they put the general interest above their personal interests.
Citizen participation in the municipal budget of the city of Zeguo (China)
On the Chinese east coast in Zeguo, a large community belonging to the industrial city of Wenling , a political experiment is running (2009) to involve citizens in political decisions. It is overseen on behalf of the Chinese government by He Baogang, who teaches political science at Deakin University in Melbourne. In Zeguo, 200 residents are chosen at random to discuss the city's financial budget for the coming year.
Convention on the Constitution (Ireland)
In January 2013 Ireland began the Convention on the Constitution , a drawn-out town hall assembly designed to draft laws on controversial issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. The We the Citizens project at University College Dublin served as a model . The assembly consisted of 66 citizens and 33 politicians, with the drawn citizens being selected by an independent research institute taking into account age, gender and origin. The assembly deliberated with experts and experts for a total of one year, after which the drafts came to parliament, where it was decided whether there should be a national referendum on the drafts. Such a referendum took place on May 22, 2015: 62 percent of the Irish population approved a constitutional amendment that made same-sex marriage possible. "It was the first time in the world in modern times that a consultation by drawn citizens led to a constitutional amendment," said David Van Reybrouck.
- In the "Internet Engineering Task Force" delegates are nominated at random, who then elect the organization's board of directors.
- Two of the seven board members of the Icelandic Pirate Party are randomly drawn from among the members.
- In the French regional elections in 2015 , a list of candidates drawn under the name Citoyens tirés au sort entered La Réunion .
Models and suggestions for use
- 1985 - In their book A Citizen Legislature , Ernest Callenbach and Michael Phillips describe the advantages of randomly forming the US House of Representatives . They assume that the MPs will be elected from among the citizens in overlapping periods for three years.
- 1987 - John Burnheim recommends replacing decision-making bodies and administrations in politics, the state and the economy with a demarchic system. One possibility would be to set up a separate decision-making body for different areas such as traffic, libraries or building regulations. Members are randomly selected from volunteers in such a way that the composition of the population corresponds to gender, ethnicity, age and the like. The members are replaced by new ones in a fixed rhythm. The decisions of such a body are not implemented administratively, but the members have to convince the population of the correctness of their decisions.
- 1995 - Inspired by Peter Dienel's concept of the planning cell , Burkhard Wehner proposes the establishment of so-called "lay parliaments", whose members are determined by lottery. In the combination of elected expert parliaments and drawn lay parliaments, Wehner sees the contemporary combination of closeness to the citizen and professional competence of the political decision-making process.
- 2004 - In his book Exile to Helgoland, the journalist Timo Rieg proposes parliamentary advice on the basis of random draws, referring to the procedure of the planning cell. In contrast to Weyh's idea (2007), there is no permanent parliament, but only for a single consultation phase of around a week. Furthermore, according to the planning cell idea, it is not the coordination that dominates, but rather the discussion in small groups and the agreement. Rieg also includes the more developed American debate compared to Germany. Through the raffle model, all citizens would have equal rights, especially those who do not push for power and whose skills have not yet been used. Today only the pushers got into politics, creating a caste of professional politicians .
- 2007 - The Berlin journalist Florian Felix Weyh suggests in his book The Last Election the selection of members from the general population by lot, which would bring about an absolutely representative parliament. The media cannot intervene in the raffle for mandates. The 600 random delegates could also gain an impression of the applicants for government offices without being influenced. According to his proposal, all Germans who meet the criteria of the independent election committee are stored in a raffle computer, ie around 62 million names from which 600 members are drawn. The individual chance of winning is 1: 103.333 better than with any lottery . As with the lay judge's office, there is an obligation to accept the mandate and only very narrow exception criteria allow a rejection.
- 2009 - A proposal similar to Burkhard Wehner's "Laienparlamente" (1995) comes from Greifswald's political professor Hubertus Buchstein . Thereafter, the European Parliament is to be supplemented by a second chamber called the "House of Lots". This should include 200 members, who will be drawn from among the Union's citizens . The assumption of the mandate would be civic duty and a rejection only possible under special circumstances. At the same time, the parliamentary activity should be made financially and organizationally attractive.
- 2013 - Terrill Bouricius , a scientist and politician from Vermont , proposes a system of six different committees, the majority of which are to be drawn by lot: An "Agenda Council" is to determine the topics of the legislation, and volunteers can participate in any number of "Interest Panels" Advice on individual special topics and work out recommendations, a "review panel" draws up the concrete bills. The "Policy Jury" is supposed to vote on the bills for one to several days, a "Rules Council" decides on all procedural rules, and finally an "Oversight Council" controls the legislative process and handles complaints.
- 2013/16 - The author and historian David Van Reybrouck advocates a "bi-representative model", a representation of the people that comes about both by voting and by drawing lots. He sees his home country Belgium in particular as suitable for this model. In a step-by-step process, as described by Bouricius (2013), the Belgian Senate could be transformed into a legislative body made up exclusively of citizens drawn by drawing lots.
- 2014 - Christiane Bender and Hans Graßl propose to supplement the five percent hurdle at federal level with a procedure that gives all citizens entitled to vote the chance to take one of a total of five percent of the seats in the Bundestag by drawing lots. All eligible voters receive a ticket number with the voting slip, which they return if they do not wish to exercise their right to be drawn. The members of the parliament drawn by lots are not entitled to vote due to the constitution, but they have unrestricted speaking rights and can take on important functions.
- 2016 - The French politician Arnaud Montebourg proposes to replace the French senators with citizens drawn for each department.
Assumed advantages over representative democracy
The developers of demarchic concepts try to overcome what they see as the shortcomings of representative democracy .
- Less effort for political (self-) representation: In representative democracies, a lot of time and money is spent on promoting parties and politicians, presenting their goals and statements in the media and convincing voters. In addition, most voters have neither the time nor the interest to fully study the programs of the parties or their behavior or that of the candidates. In the demarchy, there is no such effort for representatives of the people and is at least significantly lower for office holders. Decisions are made by people who have not had to try to present themselves in such a way.
- Avoidance of corruption and influence: randomly selected people are far less dependent. They do not have to be considerate of a party line, a party career, the receipt of a political post or the impression they make in public and are less influenced by lobbying . The chances of corrupting them are much lower than those of the elected representatives in representative democracy, partly because they only become known after their appointment.
- Greater legitimacy of democracy: The growing disenchantment with politics is often attributed to the fact that many citizens no longer feel sufficiently represented by elected parties and politicians. As a result, the representative democracy is perceived by some citizens as a detached elite project ("those up there"). If more political decisions were made by randomly drawn citizens and not by professional politicians, this could increase the acceptance of political decisions and democracy in general.
Assumed disadvantages compared to representative democracy
- Individuals determined by lot would not feel obliged to the citizens, since re-election as a control parameter for their political behavior would be omitted.
- The power of the bureaucrats would grow in favor of civil servants due to the lack of continuity in parliament and the resulting asymmetry of information.
- The lottery procedure is not really representative in modern societies, and important minorities and points of view are missing in every group drawn.
- Replacing elected politicians by drawn citizens would delegitimize professional politicians and thus democracy. The belief in simple solutions and the apolitical everyday culture would be strengthened, while citizen participation and personal responsibility among the former voters would be weakened. Professional lobbyists would also have an easier time with drawn citizens than with professional politicians.
- Citizens drawn would have too little expertise and experience in relation to professional politicians to decide on complex and far-reaching political issues. - David van Reybrouck objects that in the past very similar arguments have been made against granting the right to vote to women, farmers or workers. In addition, citizens' committees composed by lottery would have the same experts at their disposal that professional politicians use. A drawn-out citizens' committee therefore differs from a direct democratic referendum in that in one case a small group of informed citizens decides something and in the other case a large group of uninformed citizens.
- in Book 4 (1294b)
- David Van Reybrouck: Against elections. Why voting is not democratic. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016. ISBN 978-3-8353-1871-7
- The Grand Council met, the rules of procedure were read out loud, and as many wax balls as there were council members were placed in a jar. 30 of these spheres contained a piece of parchment labeled "Elector". In a random order the councilors approached one after the other and a boy, who had also been chosen at random on the streets of the city, drew a ball for each. If the ball contained a piece of paper, the name of the council member concerned was announced aloud and he went into an adjacent room; at the same time, all other members of his family who were also on the council had to leave the congregation, as only one member of each family was allowed to vote. Upon completion of this lottery procedure, the 30 electors took an oath. They then repeated the lottery procedure to select nine of them who, after praying, chose a committee of 40 men. These 40 men were called into the next room and, in a third lottery, selected twelve from among their number, who in turn chose 25 electors. These 25 were sworn in again and in a fourth lottery procedure selected nine from among their number. These nine in turn determined a committee of 45 men who, in a fifth lottery, chose eleven from among their number. These eleven then determined the final electoral body of 41 men that eventually elected the Doge. Throughout the voting process, the city prayed that God would express His will through the lots. For the solemn election of the new Doge, the 41 electors were locked in the palace so that they had no contact with the outside world. After another prayer, 41 pieces of parchment, numbered 1 to 41, were randomly distributed among the electors. The elector who had received the slip of paper with the number 1 rose and nominated a candidate. Everyone else followed in the order of the numbers on the slips of paper. Often the same candidates were proposed; there is no known case where more than seven or eight different names have been mentioned in total. After all electors were through, the elector with the number 1 (i.e. the one who had proposed the first candidate) briefly justified his election. Then the nominee was called in (if he was not already on the committee of 41) and gave a short introductory speech. He was then locked in a small separate room and counseling began. In a first round, the 41 electors were asked to put forward everything that spoke against the election of the nominee to the Doge. Then the nominee was called in, the objections raised against him were read out to him (anonymously, i.e. without knowing who they came from) and he was given the opportunity to comment and refute. Then he was locked away in his cabin again and in a second round of deliberations the electors were able to present everything that spoke in favor of his election as Doge. When that happened, each of the 41 electors threw a red ball with a cross into one of the two available ballot boxes, a white (pro) and a red (contra) ball. Then the white urn was opened. If it contained at least 25 bullets, the candidate was elected doge; if not, he was dismissed and the process started all over again with the second nominee until someone was elected. (based on Thomas F. Madden: Venice. A New History , Viking Penguin, London 2012, pp. 170–172)
- David Van Reybrouck: Against Elections. Why voting is not democratic . Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2016, p. 154 .
- About me | Ned Crosby - http://nedcrosby.org/about/ - " I am the American creator of the Citizens Jury process, which I invented in April of 1971, three months after Peter Dienel, a professor of sociology in Wuppertal, Germany, invented virtually the same process. We didn't learn of each other until 1985 [...] "
- See e.g. B. the study Civil Protection and Disaster Protection (Bonn: BZS 1992) by the Disaster Research Center of the University of Kiel .
- J. Zhaohua, Baogang He: Democratic talkfest and participative policy-making mechanism: a case study on Zeguo Town, Wenling . In: Zhongguo she hui ke xue chu ban she (ed.): Collection of the essays presented at the international conference on deliberative democray and Chinese practice of participatory and deliberative institutions . China's Social Sciences Press, Beijing 2004, ISBN 978-7-5004-5694-0 , pp. 219-241 ( edu.au ).
- Bastian Berbner, Tanja Stelzer, Wolfgang Uchatius: Right-wing populism: The choice is: Democracy . In: The time . February 4, 2017, ISSN 0044-2070 ( zeit.de [accessed February 21, 2017]).
- Matthias Ebert: Democracy Experiment in the Lottery. In: euroblick. Bayerischer Rundfunk, October 29, 2017, accessed on June 17, 2019 .
- David Van Reybrouck: Against Elections. Why voting is not democratic . Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2016, p. 134 .
- Citoyens tirés au sort (DIV) in www.lefigaro.fr (French)
- Ernest Callenbach, Michael Phillipsbook: A Citizen Legislature . Berkeley / Bodega California. Banyan Tree Books / Clear Glass, 1985, ISBN 0-9604320-5-1 (English)
- John Burnheim: About Democracy. Alternatives to parliamentarianism. Publisher: Wagenbach Klaus GmbH (1987) ISBN 3-8031-2142-6
- Burkhard Wehner , The Logic of Citizen Participation , in: ders., The logic of politics and the misery of the economy, Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1995. See also the online version under Reformforum: Bürgerbeteiligung
- Timo Rieg: Exile to Helgoland: Rich and happy without politicians , biblioviel, 2004, ISBN 3-928781-11-1
- Timo Rieg: Democracy for Germany , Political Poker , 1.5.07
- Timo Rieg: A drawn citizens' parliament would be incorruptible , Standpunkt, swissinfo.ch , August 26, 2015
- Hubertus Buchstein : Democracy and Lottery. The lot as a political decision-making instrument from antiquity to the EU . Frankfurt / New York: Campus, 2009: pages 445–453
- "Democracy Through Multi-Body Sortition" by Terrill G. Bouricius (English)
- Christiane Bender, Hans Graßl: By lottery in the Bundestag. In: Frankfurter Rundschau. 70th year, October 27, 2014.
- Montebourg propose de remplacer les sénateurs par des citoyens tirés au sort in www.express.fr, June 8, 2016 (French)
- Klaus Schweinsberg : When chance co-rules. About an unusual idea to reform politics. Die Zeit , February 10, 2000, accessed on June 18, 2019 .
- Timo Rieg: Should professional politicians be replaced by citizens drawn at random? A dispute between Jörg Sommer , Director of the Berlin Institute for Participation, and Timo Rieg, proponent of an aleatoric democracy. Telepolis , May 22, 2019, accessed June 18, 2019 .
- David van Reybrouck: Against elections. Why voting is not democratic . Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2016, p. 158 .
- John Burnheim: About Democracy. Alternatives to parliamentarianism. Publisher: Wagenbach Klaus GmbH, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-8031-2142-6 .
- Michael Stahl : Society and State among the Greeks. Classic time , Paderborn 2003, ISBN 3-8252-2431-7 .
- Florian Felix Weyh : The last choice . Therapies for the suffering democracy ( The Other Library ; Vol. 272). Eichborn, Frankfurt / M. 2007, ISBN 978-3-8218-4585-2 .
- Hubertus Buchstein : Democracy and the lottery. The lot as a political decision-making instrument from antiquity to the EU. Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-593-38729-1 .
- Timo Rieg: Democracy for Germany. From ineligible parties and a real alternative. Berlin: Berliner Konsortium, 2013. ISBN 978-3-938081-81-5
- Christiane Bender, Hans Graßl: Lottery: A contribution to strengthening democracy. . In: From Politics and Contemporary History. 64th vol., 38–39 / 2014, pp. 31–37.
- David Van Reybrouck : Against elections: Why voting is not democratic . Wallstein, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8353-1871-7 .
- L. León, " The world-solution for world-problems: the problem, its cause, its solution ", 1988 (English)
- Ernest Callenbach, Michael Phillips: A Citizen Legislature . Bookpeople, 1985, ISBN 0-9604320-5-1 (English, online [accessed January 1, 2017]).