'"n our society elections and democracy are considered inseparable. In fact, this connection is far from clear. The ancient Greeks, for example, thought that elections are part and parcel of an oligarchy1. It was oligarchical Sparta, rather than democratic Athens, that elected its government.
The Athenians had a very different system: political offices were distributed using a lottery. The lottery method – known as Sortition – could be implemented here. If Congresspeople were drawn at random from the U.S. citizenry, Congress would not be an elite body made predominantly of rich, male, white, old lawyers2. Rather, it would look like a statistical sample of the people: it would contain 50% women, 28% hispanics and blacks, rich and poor, young and old, straight and gay, and very few lawyers."