Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It's Better To Get Your Second Choice In An Election Than Have Your Last Choice In Office For Years

Maine voters again supported ranked choice voting at the polls.  We had adopted it by popular vote in the 2016 election but Republicans and the Republican leaning Maine media has been trying to prevent it going into effect.  The Maine Supreme Court said that there would have to be a Constitutional Amendment before it could be used in general elections for some seats - we've got a stupidly written State Constitution - and Republicans have been frantically working to undo the clear will of the majority, the same way that they got Paul LePage in office, twice.  They passed a law delaying its implementation with an eye to defeating it.  But ranked-choice voting has survived a Maine Supreme Court challenge - with the condition about the friggin' state Constitution - and two election cycles in which Republicans and the political establishment lied about it. 
Every single person I know who supported ranked-choice voting in Maine included the installation of Paul LePage with 38% of the vote as governor as one of their reasons for supporting changing the winner takes all system in favor of ranked choice.  He was the clear last-choice of the majority of Maine Voters that someone like him could win shows that is a major defect of the current system.

We have had the clear last choice of a majority of the voters in office, to catastrophic results for the past eight years because the opposition couldn't agree on who their first choice was.  The system we've had has, on several occasions, given us really bad governors because of the divided opposition. I'd favored changing the law to make it harder for no-chance candidates to get on the ballot to prevent that but ranked-choice has a good chance of being a better way of preventing the last-choice of the majority becoming governor.  It took a Paul LePage to get people to make a real try at changing the system which puts people like him in office.

In the media coverage of the first time use of it, they're stressing that the results in the Democratic governors' race might take some time to find out as the votes for second and third choice have to be calculated.  They've largely opposed changing from the present system, probably because most of the Maine media favors Republicans and they always have.

The idea that it's better to have a putrid pre-Trumpian Trump like LePage in office for eight years so the media gets to announce the winner in hours is so stupid that the media should be ashamed of itself for pushing that line.

It was almost as stupid for the Maine Secretary of State, a Democrat, to complain that it would cost a little more to have a ranked-choice election.  Matt Dunlap made no secret of his opposition to ranked-choice and he gave several ridiculously inflated guesses as to how much it would cost.  That was a stupid claim because even his highest figure was pennies compared to the millions of dollars in Federal money that LePage cost the state for ideological and political reasons.   I certainly have a last choice for a Democratic Secretary of State now.

The media has the same fear as Republicans, that the majority of Maine voters will not go along with the lunatic, hater and crook wing of that party, the part of the Republican party that turns out for primaries and Republicans have a good chance of losing ranked-choice general elections.

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