“[political parties] are likely to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON, 1796

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Most people agree that democracy is a good idea in principle, but in practice isn't working. The influence of moneyed interests has so  distorted electoral democracy's functioning that it has become almost impossible to implement rational policies that benefit a majority of Americans. Random Access Democracy seeks to invest political power in deliberative citizen groups chosen by lot -- just as juries are. It's not a plan to get money out of politics. It's a plan to get politics out of democracy. And everywhere it's being tried, it's working.

For example, all over.

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Democracy R&D

is an international network of organizations with the mission to promote deep democratic practices such as random selection (sortition) and deliberation.

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Here's more to think about.

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Citizens’ Panels and Assemblies chosen by lot have been empowering ordinary people to shape policies in many countries. Click for an extensive directory of projects.

In 2018, the voters of Michigan amended their state constitution to end gerrymandering by creating an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission whose members are randomly selected.

For a deeper look at Random Access Democracy (also called Sortition, and Democracy by Lot), visit our resources page.

Visit Of By For, a non-profit working to build a movement to get beyond parties and politicians and put everyday people front and center.

12 ways randomly selecting public officials by lot would improve on elections.
  1. Selection by lot would eliminate media and confirmation bias, and disinformation campaigns that often cause people to vote according to their prejudices.
  2. Selection by lot would eliminate the influence of moneyed interests on selection of lawmakers and legislative outcomes. 
  3. Selection by lot would eliminate voter suppression, voter intimidation, and political gerrymandering. 
  4. Selection by lot would eliminate voter fraud and stolen elections. 
  5. Selection by lot would eliminate endless, exhaustive, expensive political campaigning. 
  6. Selection by lot would instantly guarantee proportional representation.
  7. Selection by lot would eliminate professional politicians. 
  8. Selection by lot would end political parties, political partisanship, and partisan gridlock. 
  9. Skills that get people elected are not the skills of effective governing. No one can predict in advance who will make a good legislator.
  10. A wider group of people would serve if chosen by lot than if they had to run for office. 
  11. Policy making bodies chosen by lot would be free to listen to experts and deliberate policies based on evidence, with no time spent on fundraising. 
  12. Selection by lot would increase citizen engagement and trust in government, as it already is doing in citizen juries and citizen assemblies all over the world. 
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R.A.D. is aiming high. We want to transform political decision making in towns, cities, counties, states, and nations--by putting political power into deliberative citizen assemblies chosen by democratic lottery. We're starting local, by looking for towns and cities that are R.A.D. ready, or that have charters amendable by citizen initiative. We're gathering a core group of activists to begin the process. We can use your help! Click on the link to receive our newsletter, which will keep you in the loop.

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