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Janerik Larsson

Janerik Larsson

Den brittiska centervänstertankesmedjan Policy Network bidrar ofta med intressanta och tankeväckande debattinlägg. Nu senast en essä av belgaren David Van Reybrouck  som anser att det inte alls är självklart att demokrati enbart är val till riksdag etc:

It seems like we have all become electoral fundamentalists. We look down on those who have been elected, but worship elections themselves. Electoral fundamentalism is the unshakeable belief that there can be no democracy without polling, that elections are a precondition, indispensable for defining democracy. Electoral fundamentalists refuse to see elections as a means to implement democracy, but consider them an end in themselves, a sacred principle of intrinsic, indefeasible value.

Hans förslag är att man ska dela ansvaret mellan valda politiker enligt dagens ordning och i de lagstiftande etc församlingarna helt enkelt lotta in medborgare:

Treat critical, outspoken citizens as a voting mob and they will behave like a voting mob. Treat them like adults and they will act as adults. The relationship between the government and its constituency is no longer that between a parent and its children, but of adults working together. Politicians would do well to look further than the barbed wire alone, to trust the citizens, to take their feelings seriously and respect their experience. To make them feel welcome, in other words. Give them power. And, to keep things fair: appoint them by sortition.  In my opinion, the traumatic, systemic crisis that has overcome democracy can be alleviated by giving sortition another chance. The drawing of lots is no miracle cure, no perfect recipe, in the same way that elections have never been that either. It can, however, help to redress some shortcomings. Sortition is not irrational, it is a-rational: a consciously neutral procedure by which political opportunities can be justly distributed and discord avoided. The risk of corruption is reduced, electoral fever abated, the focus on the common good increased. Citizens selected by sortition may not have the expertise of professional politicians, but they have something else: freedom. There is, after all, no pressure on them to be elected or reelected.

In this phase of the history of democracy, therefore, there are sound arguments for no longer leaving legislative power in the hands of elected citizens, but passing it along to allotted citizens too. If we trust the principle of sortition when it comes to the court system, why not with legislation? It would serve to patch things up considerably. Then elected citizens (our politicians) will no longer be hounded to a frenzy by the commercial and social media, but will feel backed up by a second lawgiving body for which electoral fever and audience ratings are completely irrelevant, an assembly in which the public interest and the long term still enjoy pride of place, an assembly of citizens who are quite literally reachable – not because they are better than all the rest, but because the circumstances bring out the best in them.

Van Revbrouck pekar på det växande misstroende som i västliga demokratier visas mot de demokratiskt valda. I t ex det amerikanska jurysystemet så väljs domarna från allmänheten (inte som svenska nämndemän alltså). Varför duger inte den principen också i andra sammanhang, är hans fråga.

Jag tar gärna emot – och sprider – synpunkter.

Här hela hans essä:

Policy Network

 

Om gästbloggen

Janerik Larsson är gästbloggare hos SvD Ledare. Han är skribent, författare och journalist, verksam i Stiftelsen Fritt Näringsliv och pr-byrån Prime. Bloggar om svensk politik och har en internationell utblick mot främst brittiska och amerikanska medier.
Åsikter är hans egna.