Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Election by Lot
Josep M. Colomer
The election of public officers by lots, or lottery, is a procedure that can prevent the formation of a permanent leading group and diffuse knowledge of public affairs among the members of the community. It can be an appropriate formula in settings in which an assembly of members or representative council makes decisions by broad consensus or unanimity, and public jobs do not require high technical skills. The selection of delegates by turns and the subsequent rotation of people in public offices can have about the same effects as lotteries. There is an old tradition of choosing public officers by drawing lots that can be found in ancient and medieval local democracies, modern private settings, and some international organizations. In most cases, it goes together with the central role of the assembly to make decisions on the most relevant issues, typically by consensual agreement, on the assumption that the identification ...