Elections to the Citizens’ Chamber

Elections to the Citizens’ Chamber (here called Sortition Chamber) of the Senate, which will include 50% of the Senators, will be conducted using sortition. The sortition mandates will of course come from selection and not election, and since they would run for 6-years, they would overlap the terms of the Parliament. Therefore, in a five-year parliament only the mandates won through the Proportional Representation and the Two Rounds Systems will be available for election. The sortition members will continue to be members of the Senate, until their mandate elapses after six years and new sortition members will replace them. The same system as for the EF Parliament could of course also be used for the member states’ Parliaments. This is how I propose to carry out the allocation of mandates to the EF Senate using sortition.

Each member state will divide the country into electoral districts consisting of approximately 2 million voters, which will be adjusted, once new countries join the EF

 Each district will have 2 seats in the EF Senate. A representative for one seat will be elected through proportional representation Two Rounds System. The other, will be selected through a sortition system

The whole process of sortition will be carried out and supervised by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) present in each EF member state

Candidates for sortition members must be over 21 and are randomly selected from the electoral register

The candidates must have a minimum secondary school level education. (There could also be a more complex option of selecting sortition members, but perhaps more beneficial for the society. This would also select Sortition members at random but with no initial pre-screening for secondary school education. Instead, the first 30% of the sortition members will be selected with no criteria, other than age, the next 30% will have secondary school education, the following lot of 30% will only include university graduates, and the final 10% would include university graduates but with additional screening for technology specialists, scientists, lawyers, voluntary sector etc.)

Once they pass these criteria, they will remain on the register of a stand-by pool of 20 candidates for sortition members

The candidates selected to become a sortition member, will have the right to decline the offer to join the sortition team. (That’s a departure from the Anglo- Saxon Jury service, where a person called randomly to serve on the Jury must perform his duty)

If they agree to become sortition members, they will have their leave from work legally, if they are actually selected to serve as Senators, protected (i.e. they can return back to work on at least the same terms as before) and IEC will help them get back to work at no extra cost to them. They will have a legal duty to provide all the information on their education and skills they have. They would also have to sign the Official Secrets Act and other documents that MPs normally sign. They will have to swear under oath that they agree to represent their constituents honestly, without prejudice, maintaining secrecy of the debates, if required, or other state secrets, under the same penalties as for government officials

The sortition candidates in the stand-by pool will have to undergo training and coaching courses, including English, learning how the EF government works and what are the rights and obligations of being a Senator. They will be paid some money of being a candidate for Senator in the stand-by pool

The Sortition period of service in the senate is 6 years. In the first year, a sortition Senator will not be eligible to vote. Instead, he will undergo intensive training and coaching, learning how the EF government works and his rights and obligations of being a Senator. They will also have English tuition, if necessary, since this is the official language of the EF. He will be sworn in the second year and serve for five years. protected (That means that in his first parliament term, which is 5 years, he will be a Senator for 1 year without the right to vote, and 4 years with voting rights, and then for 1 year with full voting rights in the second term on the parliament).

The sortition members actually selected to serve a 6 year-period in the Senate will be paid the national public sector average salary for the first 1 year and the MPs salary for the next 5 years. All expenses will of course be covered. They will not be allowed to be employed anywhere else.

In every district there will be a pool of 20 stand-by registered candidates. In the first year, only one of them will be randomly selected to serve as a Senator. After the first 5 years a new Sortition Candidate will be randomly selected from among the 20 sortition candidates. (The reason why a new sortition candidate is elected after the first 5 years, is that he will spent the first year in the Senate, being coached in Senator’s duties. If the new Senator took his seat after 6 years, then the Sortition Chamber will not have the voting Senators, since the new senators are not allowed to vote in the first year).From then on, every 6 years a new Senator will be randomly selected from among the pool of 20 stand-by sortition candidates. In case the sitting sortition Senator resigns for any reason, a new sortition member will be selected randomly from among the pool of 20 stand-by sortition candidates. Each time a sortition candidates’ pool number falls below 20, a new sortition candidate is randomly drawn from the electoral register. Therefore, the stand-by pool will always have 20 candidates

In the Parliament there will be a Sortition Office responsible for all matters related to sortition members. That may cover their coaching or training needs or issues related to personal matters of sortition Senators. The Sortition Office will also handle the requests from the Sortition MPs for recalling one of their members for reasons of misconduct, non-participation in debates or nor voting.

Since a sortition Senator will be accountable to nobody because he has been selected and not elected, the only way of removing ‘bad apples’ is by the sortition Senators themselves. The issue of sortition Senators to be recalled will at first be reviewed by a special Sortition Members Committee. If the Committee finds him guilty of misconduct or non-compliance, then the decision of his recall will become valid, if a qualified majority of sortition Senators votes for his recall. Should that happen, a new sortition Senator from the standby pool of sortition Senators from a given district will be sworn in, replacing the recalled Senators.

Next: Scenarios for EF in 2040

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