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Institutions For Future Generations$
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Iñigo González-Ricoy and Axel Gosseries

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746959.001.0001

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A General-Purpose, Randomly Selected Chamber

A General-Purpose, Randomly Selected Chamber

Chapter:
(p.282) 17 A General-Purpose, Randomly Selected Chamber
Source:
Institutions For Future Generations
Author(s):

Michael K. MacKenzie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746959.003.0017

This chapter argues that a randomly selected second chamber would help counterbalance some of the short-term tendencies associated with elected chambers. A randomly selected chamber would be capable of acting independently from the political dynamics of short electoral cycles, it would be representative of both short and long-term perspectives on different issues, and it would create an environment that is conducive to high-quality deliberation on politically complex long-term issues. I argue that each of these institutional features—independence, representativeness, and deliberativeness—can help both encourage and support long-term thinking. Unlike other institutions that are designed to address specific long-term issues, a randomly selected chamber would be a general-purpose institution in the sense that it would be empowered to review all law proposals and make judgements about whether they are, broadly speaking, consistent with the long-term interests of society.

Keywords:   deliberation, representation, electoral politics, second chambers, long-termism, future generations

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