I seem to recall reading, around 45 to 50 years ago, a science fiction short story or novel where one of the plot mechanisms was that anyone who wanted to run for political office was automatically declared insane, and thus unfit for office. Thus leaders were to be selected by some other method (Sortition? or by computer?).

The story was not "Franchise" by Asimov, about a randomly chosen voter (I just checked by re-reading it).

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    Exactly what part of it is sci-fi or fantasy? – Möoz Nov 14 '16 at 23:03
  • 2066: Election Day by Michael Shaara? – Valorum Nov 14 '16 at 23:34
  • @Mooz : Editorial choice? I recall seeing the story possibly in a sci fi collection or magazine. Perhaps about a futuristic setting... – hotpaw2 Nov 14 '16 at 23:41
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    You're sure you're not thinking of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe? The premise there being that the President wasn't actually in charge of anything, the real ruler being secretly selected by unknown means. (One of the plot lines revolved around a group of people trying to find out just who was actually in charge.) – Harry Johnston Nov 16 '16 at 0:36
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    Yes, I have the same recollection, and search. It was made into a short Twilight Zone-style TV film as well. It seemed remarkably prescient of the current situation! I thought it was Kurt Vonnegut, but don't seem to be able to find it. It deserves to be found, and recognised for the genius it was/is. – Seeker of post truth Jan 20 '17 at 17:32

It is paraphrased from Douglas Adams:

“To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

  • Additionally, the leaders were a group of people who consulted a rather solipsistic man living alone with a cat. – Dranon Jan 20 '17 at 18:42
  • This is not it. In the Hitchhiker's Guide they still had elections for their president. They elected Zaphod for a start. It's just that the president only thought he had any power. – Chenmunka Jan 20 '17 at 21:14

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