Since several of my recent posts have involved complicated calculations, it seems like time for a straightforward report of percentages. In 1993, the Americans Talk Issues Foundation sponsored a poll on political issues. As far as I can tell, the foundation was basically one man, so he just asked what was on his mind, resulting in some interesting questions. People were asked to rate various ideas on a scale of 0 (very unfavorable) to 100 (very favorable). One was:
"Choose members of Congress not by elections as now but by selection in the same way as juries are chosen--thus changing the composition of Congress to represent all demographic groups and walks of life and removing the influence of money from elections"
35% were favorable (51-100), 22% were neutral (50), and 40% unfavorable (0-49)
That would definitely be a break with tradition, but it's defensible in terms of the principle of democracy.
"Choose members of Congress not by elections as now but by auctions selecting the highest qualified bidders with the money going to the federal treasury"
19% were favorable, 19% were neutral, and 58% unfavorable.
This method of choosing rulers is totally inconsistent with the basic idea of democracy, as well as common sense, so I would have expected it to get almost no support. But a substantial number thought it was a good idea, or at least weren't opposed.
[data from iPOLL, Roper Center for Public Opinion Research]