How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens
Citizens’ assemblies have their roots in sortition – selecting citizens at random to fill public posts – which was once central to democracy
- James Bridle
- The Guardian
n the central marketplace of ancient Athens, around 350BC, there stood a machine called the kleroterion.
This was a six-foot-high slab of stone that had a series of slots on the front, and a long tube bored down from the top to the base.
Those up for selection for the various offices of state would insert metal ID tags, called pinakia, into the slots, and a functionary would pour a bucket of coloured balls, suitably shaken, into the…