Fun, but that font needs to be impeached.
Actually - that would be better - should include all citizens though - same for US House
State Senate President Comacho! Hell, let's do them all by lottery. We can't do worse than a Beef Supreme for SPD Chief.
"What could possibly go wrong?"


And does that say "Please discard this notice after November 2120"? Or "...November 2nd?" (Election day is Tuesday, November 4th.)
Here, I'll do your reporting for you:
Submitted date: 3/21/2014 11:37 AM
Ballot title issued: 4/2/2014 1:14:05 PM
Public Contact Information: 4032 42nd Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
Phone: (206) 935-2898

Ballot Title
Initiative Measure No. 1354 concerns the legislature.

This measure would encourage the legislature to pay a law firm to write a constitutional amendment creating a randomly-selected legislature that could deliberate and vote in private, and punishing interference with the legislature.

Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Ballot Measure Summary
This measure would encourage the legislature to pay a law firm to write a constitutional amendment to create a legislature of at least one hundred members selected at random from eligible voters. Legislators could deliberate and vote in private, and would be paid and provided with lodging, food, security, and medical care. Persons who interfere with legislative actions or the selection of legislators, or who fail to serve if selected, would be subject to punishment.

View Complete Text
Um, just as a matter of fact, Rodney Tom is a voter. And yes, you could do worse (though most of the worse would be hopelessly ineffectual, unlike Tom, so that might still be better). But just take a look around you and tell yourself, "yeah, that guy, he could do better". Look at Will in Seattle.

The problem isn't bad legislators. It's bad voters.
"Deliberate and vote in private"??
This is one of my favorite ideas for legislatures. I first read about it in the Red Mars trilogy. It would probably work better if the legislature was increased in size to make it a larger sample. That would reduce risk of it being non-representative. Then tie pay to Washington's median income +10% so it can't be argued that it represents a financial burden (if it does it would likely be for the wealthy who have more significant liabilities) to serve.

I think it is the best way to remove money from politics. The only quid pro quo available to those who want to buy votes would be out and out bribery.
@7 that is the weird part of this. That and the punishment for failing to serve.

Yeah, it does sound like a great idea at first, doesn't it?

And then the day comes when you get selected for two years of continuous jury duty, and everything snaps painfully back into focus.
I'd be happy to serve, but this seems likely to do the opposite of what they want. The business of the government should be open, and they want to make it closed, and have no one be accountable. Sounds like they should Bellomio.
"Can't someone else do it?"
Well, to play Mr. Smarty-Britches for a moment:

Sortition, or allocating public officials by lot, was good enough for the Athenians. Of course that pool was restricted to male, property owning citizens [about 10% of the population]. So, y'know...

Then again, considering the ignorant, asinine, legally and pragmatically unconscionable legislation that state and federal officials poop out in our present system, I might give sortition a go.
@12 - And that really IS our problem in a nutshell, isn't it? Very well put.
Fnarf, as usual, is correct.
You mean like our criminal justice juries? Where we expect a random collection of strangers to decide sometimes highly complicated inquiries into cellular biology, human psychology, ballistics and fraudulent financial transactions?

Because that works in the most chaotic and haphazard way you can imagine.
Great, so the only people in Olympia who know anything about lawmaking would be the lobbyists.

Hey, I know! Let's have completely random people become judges, police officers, doctors and engineers while we're at it!
Seems to be a point about getting back to the roots of democracy which (as I learned it back when we rode dinosaurs to school) required that all men of the Greek villages take their turn in a legislative body deciding what was good for the community. Turns lasted a specific amount of time and then they were released until their turn came up again.
It annoys the hell out of me that there is a persistent idea running around that America is a democracy. Nope it's not. If it were we would all take turns in making decisions. But since we vote to let other people make those decisions and write those laws that makes this a representative republic. Hence the line in the Pledge of Allegiance "and for the republic for which it stands".
When we run around and tell people how awesome the US's democracy is we look like fricking morons that don't know a damn thing about our own country.

*pant pant pant damn I needed to get that off my chest /rant over.
Lest you all get carried away, our beloved and wise SCOTUS has reminded us that MONEY is speech and there is no more racism, so voting rights are so last century. Gay rights is cool as long as you queers maintain higher average incomes and you spend those incomes on stuff made or marketed by the Lord Oligarhs, The Blessed Job Creators.

> The problem isn't bad legislators. It's bad voters.

No - the problem is bad legislators, and it is not even individual legislators - it is the electoral system.

> Um, just as a matter of fact, Rodney Tom is a voter.

Yes, but he is a very unusual voter. The chance that you get a random sample of the population that looks anything like an elected legislature is infinitesimal.

> And yes, you could do worse (though most of the worse would be hopelessly ineffectual, unlike Tom, so that might still be better).

Yes - you could do worse, but, again, the chance of having a statistical sample that is worse on average is infinitesimal.

> But just take a look around you and tell yourself, "yeah, that guy, he could do better". Look at Will in Seattle.

If your esteem of the average person is so low, then by all means stick with the electoral system and the government you are getting through it.
Those interested in the idea of selecting government by statistical sample (a.k.a., sortition or government by jury), are invited to visit Equality-by-Lot (, the blog devoted to discussing and promoting sortition, and join the conversation.
I proposed the idea of a randomly selected legislature for Minnesota back in 1999. For all the details see
Thank you Dan Savage, I didn't know anyone had seen my posters.
For those of you who can't read the small type at the bottom of the page:…
John Parker Woods
Best of luck to you Mr. Parker! I have been a supporter of sortition from the very minute I heard about it 20 years ago (I must have skipped the class on Athenian Demarchy). I am in the infant stages of trying to get the Canadian Senate selected by sortition as the very few Senate rules do not preclude it and the history, tradition and precedent actually supports it! Wish me luck too! Given Seattle's history with the anti-globalization and Occupy Wall Street movements, can someone tell me why THEY are not asking and campaigning for sortition? The big criticism of both movements is they just criticize but offer no solution or ask. This is their ask.

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