Initiatives v Oligarchy

Our Founders' Warning: “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” (Thomas Jefferson)

Is IQA’s Mandatory Duty Onerous?

Yes, to a degree the IQA ‘s mandatory duty is onerous. But the general benefit far outweighs the individual inconvenience.

It is important that the IQA is a good cross-section of the People so that everyone’s views are included. When a Citizen is randomly selected to serve as a Member of the IQA, that Member represents about 406,000 Citizens who have similar views. If that Member refuses to serve, a replacement will represent a different 406,000 views; the views of the original 406,000 Citizens will not be represented.

This can be mitigated to some degree by finding a replacement who is “like” the original in sex, age, income etc. But the replacement will never be as good a representation of the 406,000 Citizens as the original. For example, if doctors or engineers were excused from serving, who would represent their views and the contributions they will make in the deliberative process?
When the U.S. has to enter a war, Citizens are often conscripted and serve under far more onerous circumstance, risking and sometimes loosing their lives, serving for much longer, and for less pay. The People generally expect and accept this.

It is inevitable that some potential Members must be excused by a Federal Court for excessive hardship. The IQA itself will provide the guidelines for the Courts. Consequently, over time, a balanced and reasonable set of criteria for excuse will evolve. These criteria will be generally acceptable to the People because the IQA which establishes them is, in effect, the People.

The vast majority of Members will find that the opportunity to make such an important contribution far outweighs any inconvenience. They will regard their selection as their good fortune and a privilege they would not want to miss.

And the actual inconvenience of mandatory duty is not really so great. A Member has to serve about one week per month for thirteen months and returns home for three-quarters of the time. Most will also find that their remuneration exceeds their normal income.

Moreover, a U.S. Citizen who is entitled to vote has an annual chance of being selected to serve on the IQA of only about one in 406,000. By comparison, the annual chance of being killed in an automobile accident is about one in 6,300. So, you are about 64 times more likely to be killed in an automobile accident than to be selected to serve on the IQA. Logically, anyone who fears being selected for the IQA should perhaps consider not driving.