Why not a draw instead of elections?

A thought regarding parliament elections. Less than two months away. 

The basic idea of a parliament must be that the representatives of the people have a say in legislative and governmental matters.

But we have experienced a long stretch in history of professional politicians who have shown that they are usually representatives of pressure groups and special interest groups, less themselves and even less the people.

So how about a draw instead of an election?

Sort of like jury-duty in the United States, it would be your duty to perform this service for your country.  Four years in parliament and the way to get there would be by pure chance, not by outspending your rivals? 

Then you’d really get a gathering representative of the people. 

We could still have votes on the executive branch which would be seperated from the legislative branch. But this way we’d get an interesting opportunity for checks and balances. 

It would be really easy to perform this draw in Iceland. Put all social security numbers above a certain age into a database and then draw the winning numbers. Other countries have a military duty for their citizens, we could have a duty to serve your country in the legislative branch.  

I can think of a hundred different reasons why this system could be controversial. 

But I know a thousand different reasons why the system we have is deeply flawed.

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2 Responses to “Why not a draw instead of elections?”


  1. 1 Jón Finnbogason March 8, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    It would be an improvement on the system to randomly select legislative members to Alþingi. However, parties have formed to simplify matters in historic perspective so this idea might be extremely hard to implement.

    Changing systems from the outside has never worked, again history has proof of this. Changes occur when one elite takes over another elite, even the French revolution followed this rule.

  2. 2 Einar Jón March 9, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I remember going to the “Revolution museum” (or similar name) in Moscow about 10 years ago.
    The museum guide was an old die-hard commie that claimed that the main problem with communism was that the honest hard-workers were too busy doing honest, hard work to touch politics, leaving it wide open to lazy, dishonest and greedy opportunists.

    Today I don’t think that problem is limited to communism.


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