Alessandro Pluchino and amici at the Universitá di Catania in Italy . . . have modeled the behavior of a two-party parliament and examined how it changes as randomly selected independent legislators are introduced into the system.Read the whole thing for details.
Their counter-intuitive conclusion is that randomly selected legislators always improves the performance of parliament and that it is possible to determine the optimal number of independents at which a parliament works best. . . .
They ran their model for various distributions of power in the two party system and found that in every case, adding random legislators improves the performance of parliament.
I have suggested before, only half jokingly, that caged monkeys randomly pulling levers to cast legislative votes in Congress would likely result in better outcomes for the people of the United States than the considered actions of today's Democrats and Republicans. Now, it appears, researchers in Italy have found that this may not be so far from the truth. The study reveals that introducing randomly selected Independent lawmakers into a two-party parliamentary system "always improves the performance of parliament." From MIT's Technology Review: