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Belgium Considers Selecting Citizens for Senate via Lottery

Palais de la Nation (Bruxelles)
This is a great idea, and long overdue. If they are able to successfully implement this, perhaps it might catch on in other countries which could also stand to benefit from a healthy dose of direct democracy.

Via Equality by Lot:

Senior politicians in Brussels are supporting a legislative reform that could revolutionize Belgian democracy: according to the plan members of the Senate – the upper chamber of the nation’s parliament – would be selected in a lottery that would be held once every four years among the citizenry.

The chairperson of the socialist party in the Belgian parliament, Laurette Onkelinx, a former vice prime minister, is saying that “traditional politics is ailing and new ways have to be considered.”

The idea of sortition has been gaining support recently. Richard Miller, an MR member of parliament, said that “we need to go directly to the people and hear their positions – and sortition is the way.” One of the heads of the left-wing Flemish party, Peter Vanvelthoven, a former labor minister, supports the idea as well: “infuse new blood into the parliamentary institutions through a more direct democracy – select all members of the Senate through a random draw among all the adult citizens of Belgium.

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