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Elections, an idiot trap?

On February 7, RTBF broadcasted the documentary 'Elections, piège à cons ?' by François Gonce, followed by a debate on alternatives to the current political system. Agora.Brussels celebrates the visibility that the documentary and the show have given to participatory democracy initiatives. The positive reactions show that reinventing politics gives hope.

In the documentary 'Elections, trap for idiots?', co-produced by RTBF, François Gonce takes us on a road trip to conquer an 'other' democracy. While voting is compulsory in Belgium, the abstention rate has never been so high. In 2019 11.62 % stayed at home and in 2024 12.5 %. Together with invalid or blank votes, we arrive at a mass of one and a half million, more than any other party. But the director is betting on hope by questioning the possibility of rehabilitating an old democratic tool: the drawing of lots.

The positive reactions show that reinventing politics gives hope.

At the origin of this questioning, we find the book “Against the elections” by David Van Reybrouck. The Belgian historian and writer proposes alternatives based on drawing lots from citizens. Belgium is a pioneer in this area. Indeed, since 2019, the German-speaking Community has set up a permanent assembly of citizens drawn by lot. A unique initiative in the world which serves as a starting point for François Gonce. Aboard his old camper van, he sets off to meet participants in these randomly selected assemblies, academic researchers, voters and even politicians who support or reject these experiences.

The debate following the documentary looked at three questions:

  • Are citizens listened to ?

  • Should we have citizen assemblies ?

  • Should the blank vote be taken into account ?

François-Xavier Lefebvre, Agora.Brussels' coordinator intervened in the debate. Check it out!


The documentary is available on (subtitled in English and German) and on RTBF Auvio. The debate can be found here.



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