Choosing politicians randomly produces better results

Democracies would be better off if they chose some of their politicians at random. That’s the word, mathematically obtained, from a team of Italian physicists, economists, and political analysts.

The team includes the trio whose earlier research showed, also mathematically, that bureaucracies would be more efficient if they promoted people at random.

Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, Cesare Garofalo, and two other colleagues at the University of Catania in Sicily published their new study in a physics journal called Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications. The study itself is titled Accidental Politicians: How Randomly Selected Legislators Can Improve Parliament Efficiency.

The scientists made a simple calculation model that mimics the way modern parliaments work, including the effects of particular political parties or coalitions….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.