Is there anyone you would vote out of office? That was a common practice in ancient Greece democracy and many famous leaders had a mandatory ten-year exile courtesy of the popular vote.

  • In ancient Athens, ostracism was the process by which any citizen, including political leaders, could be expelled from the city-state for 10 years.

    Once a year, ancient Athenian citizens would nominate people they felt threatened democracy—because of political differences, dishonesty, or just general dislike. Today, although we can vote politicians out of office, we can’t exactly banish them from politics for a decade. Do you think ostracism would work in a democracy today? Would you vote to ostracize someone? Why?

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    ancient Greece Noun

    loosely united civilization founded on and around the Peloponnese peninsula, lasting from about the 8th century BCE to about 200 BCE.

    ballot Noun

    technology (such as a slip of paper or an electronic form) by which a voter casts their vote.

    democracy Noun

    system of organization or government where the people decide policies or elect representatives to do so.

    election Noun

    selection of people to public office by vote.

    ostracize Verb

    to exclude a person, by general consent, from a society or group

    politician Noun

    person who serves as a representative of the citizens of a geographic area to the local, state, or national government.