Reto Lector: Mayo (Un libro de un género que no hayas leído #3)

Against Elections. David Van Reybrouck 

Is it possible for everyone to want democracy while no one believes in it any more?

According to Van Reybrouck’s analysis, modern day elections are placed as the centrepiece of dissatisfaction with the current state of democracy. Elections as we know them, were in fact, an aristocratic principle brought by the bourgeois meritocrats of the French and American revolutions and were first put into practice in the early days of democracy. However, as times have changed, the concept of elections has mutated into an a “mass media-obsessed elections fetish”, in which the heavily marketed political class is self-selecting and the voters are left aside, resigned to hold minimal influence. Van Reybrouck presents us with an argument in favour of the deliberative democracy model, and he relies on the old Athenian democracy system of Sortition to make his point. Through sortition, citizens become a representative sample with the ability to participate and deliberate on policy matters, leaving voters the possibility to actively endorse or decline to those initiatives. Although this solution certainly has its flaws and Van Reybrouck’s analysis should be interpreted as an approach to tinkering with the system, this book could have not come at a better time. No one could have predicted recent election results such as Trump’s presidential win and the final outcome of the Brexit campaign. In a time of profound citizen dissatisfaction with democracy, Against Elections could be an interesting read for those eager to wonder whether it is possible, and if so, how to make politics in general more efficient and achieve better output policies that reflect the interests of those represented.

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