A People's Parliament: A (revised) Blueprint for a Very English Revolution

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Imprint Academic, 2008 - Political Science - 313 pages
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Two essays, printed back to back in a single volume, offer complementary solutions to the democratic deficit in Britain and the USA. In his book The Party's Over: Blueprint for a Very English Revolution (2004), Keith Sutherland questioned the role of the party in the post-ideological age and concluded that it would be better for government ministers to be appointed by headhunters and held to account by a people's parliament selected by lot. This completely revised and updated edition includes a study of the recent literature on deliberative polling. The American founders proposed that their legislature should be 'an exact portrait, in miniature, of the people at large'. Whether or not this was true at the time, the exponential growth of the population, skyrocketing campaign funding, the power of pressure groups, the grease of the pork-barrel and the dominance of charisma and demagoguery means that the US Constitution could now better be described as a kleptocracy. This pioneering essay proposes selecting Congressional members by random lot (leaving the Senate and Presidency unchanged) to 'restore a direct, powerful voice in Washington to the whole of America'. Originally published in 1985, this new edition includes an introduction by political scientist Peter Stone.

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The legislature as a transcript of the people

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About the author (2008)

Ernest Callenbach was born on April 3, 1929. He received a bachelor's degree in English in 1949 and a master's degree in English in 1953 from the University of Chicago. Two years later, after studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, he became an assistant editor for the University of California Press. He founded Film Quarterly in 1958 and edited it for 33 years. He also edited books on film for the university. He wrote several books including Ecotopia, Ecotopia Emerging, and Living Cheaply with Style. He died of cancer on April 16, 2012 at the age of 83.

Sutherland is a Microsoft Certified Professional, IT consultant, trainer and technical author.

Michael Phillips was born in Saskatoon when Cokes were a nickel. He received all his formal education there and articled with a law firm before moving to Ottawa to join the Foreign Service. During his diplomatic career he served in Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Dublin, London, Stockholm and New York. He was Canadian Ambassador to Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia during the period 1991 to 1995. He was Ambassador to Ireland from 1996 to 1998 and Consul General in New York from 1998 to 2002. In Ottawa he served twice as an Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for US relations. Early on Michael's artistic life was confined to piano lessons and executing wall drawings using indelible crayons. Later, however, he was much involved in cultural diplomacy, particularly as Minister for Public Affairs in London and as Consul General in New York. Michael retired from the Foreign Service in 2002, and now lives with his wife, Oonagh, in Ireland where she was born.

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