semicerchio okpng A Council for two: coexistence between elected and extracted

This project exactly follows our proposal for the National Parliament.

The premises are the same and the idea is adapted to the context: we imagine a mixed system that unites the practice of the election to that of drawing lots to select the members of Municipalities’ Councils. Even the two assumptions to achieve this goal remain the same:

The first is promoted by some scientific studies conducted by five professors of the University of Catania, which demonstrate two main things:

  1. That the overall efficiency of an Assembly increases if within it there are some randomly selected members, independent from political parties
  2. That there is a "golden number" of randomly selected members that optimizes the Assembly’s efficiency and that this number can only be established after the numbers of Assembly’s majority and minority have been established through elections.

To learn about the studies conducted by professors Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, Cesare Garofalo, Salvatore Spagano and Maurizio Caserta, you can download

  • Here their first English-language academic article, titled “Accidental Politicians: How Randomly Selected Legislators Can Improve Parliament Efficiency”, 2011
  • Here their Italian book entitled “Democrazia a Sorte. Ovvero la sorte della democrazia”, published in 2012
  • Here their most recent English-language academic, named “The fallacy of representative democracy and the random selection of legislators”, 2017

The slides at the bottom present the main concepts of their studies in a simple and schematic way.   

The second hypothesis is instead to divide the Assembly seats between elected and citizens selected by lot on the basis of how many citizens entitled to vote went to the polls. The mathematical expressions adopted are the followers:


S = seats, V = voters on entitled citizens, E = elected, SO = selected through sortition


S x V = E

S - E = SO

To make things simpler, let's take an example: let's get a Municipality’s Council with 30 seats. If only three-quarters of those entitled to vote go to the polls, the elected members would be 30 × ¾ = 22. The other seats (30 – 22 = 8) could be extracted from a very large sample of volunteers, representing the complexity of society: for example, 3 men and 5 women.

Here an article by professor Renzo Rosso on the blog of Il Fatto Quotidiano explaining this proposal.

As we can see, these two proposals have as a central common point the fact that the number of citizens selected by lot within the Assembly can only be decided after the election. What differentiates them, on the contrary, is how this number should be obtained; whether by a corresponding golden number or a mathematical operation.