Liberal Representative Democracies have fallen under the spell of Spinocracy, the use of polling and other marketing techniques to determine policy, with the parallel decline in the public bureaucracies' ability to offer independent advice. While this tendency has created many bad policies, the covid19 pandemic has greatly dramatized the potential for catastrophic policy failure. The policy response of "lockdowns" of the economy, has brought adverse impacts that are only now being counted and which vastly exceed any benefits. These policies were created by a panic response to polls, fed by understandable public fear and ignorance of biology and public health. Supine bureaucracies were unable to offer mitigating advice and the news media has exacerbated the panic as a way to increase advertizing revenues. Political leaders are now afraid to admit that, while deadly for the elderly, covid19 is less harmful than influenza for those most hurt by lockdowns. Only a radical solution can avoid future panic pandemics. The solution is to remove the power of polling by directly appointing legislators by random selection - Lottocracy. This monograph aims to kickstart the public discussion.
Russ Houldin is a retired Ontario public servant. He still teaches public policy part-time at the University of Toronto, as he has for 25 years. He has degrees in chemistry, economics and environment.
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LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing
Liberal Representative Democracy, Polling, Electoral Reform, coronavirus
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory