Friday, August 2, 2019

How the Venetians Elected their Doge

I give you one of the craziest electoral systems humans have ever created, used in Venice from 1268 to 1797:

  1. Choose 30 members of the Great Council by lot.
  2. These 30 people are reduced by lot to 9.
  3. These 9 people choose 40 other people.
  4. These 40 are reduced by lot to 12.
  5. These 12 people choose 25 other people.
  6. These 25 people are reduced by lot to 9.
  7. These 9 people choose 45 other people.
  8. These 45 people are reduced by lot to 11.
  9. These 11 people choose 41 other people.
  10. These 41 people elect the doge.

The aim was to avoid politicking or special deals and end up with the general sentiment of the Great Council, that is, the male elite of the city.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

While convoluted, it does seem liable to break up block voting pretty handily. It's the same reason casinos shuffle cards so frequently - it's incredibly hard to stack the deck when there are so many layers of randomness to make it through.