Tags: government/the state, politics/election/voting, democracy, legislation, proportional representation, sortition, 06 to 10 mins
Summary: "Our Common Lot: Next Step for Democracy" is a plea for a government by the people, all the people. Using the "20-20" discipline as presentational format (i.e., 20 panels, each strictly 20 seconds long), "Our Common Lot: Next Step for Democracy" explains why sortition (random selection) is---as Aristotle said of the first democracy---the defining hallmark of democracy, and why elections are the hallmark of oligarchy (rule by a few). This clip can be used to provoke classroom discussion about fairness and "people power." It could also be used as a jumping-off place for practicing sortitional selection in schools (e.g., What would this look like in the context of student government?). In the sociology classroom, the clip might be useful for discussing the institution of politics, and specifically various approaches to democratic institutions and state formations. Instructors might also use the video as a way to discuss race, ethnic, gender, class and other forms of representation in electoral politics; namely, if democratic institutions are supposed to be represented by people who "look like us," why is there such race, ethnic, gender, and class homogeneity in politics, as literature on the power elite suggests? Viewers can be encouraged to critically weigh the potential advantages and disadvantages of a government determined by sortition. See The Common Lot's website for additional information and resources.
Submitted By: Common Lot Productions
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