Monday, April 21, 2008

Democrats and Libertarians Weigh in on Top 2 (and RCV)

In 2008, the voters of the state of Washington will see change in the November ballot. Aside from the Presidential race which has its own set of rules, voters will see at most two candidates for all statewide races, Congressional races and state legislative races. Yes, the voters have voted to limit themselves to at most two choices in November. State Democratic Party Chair, Dwight Pelz, has issued a statement lamenting this fact.

The Chair of the Libertarian Party of Washington, Scott Lindsley, has issued a statement saying the Libertarians like Pierce County's Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) better than the top 2. Voters in Pierce County are likely to see more than two candidates in the county level RCV races. One race already has four announced candidates and another has three. All of these candidates will appear on the general election ballot. There will be more voter choice in Pierce County in November than anywhere else in the state.

It makes sense that the Libertarians want more choice on the ballot in November because they are likely to be excluded from being on the November ballot in top 2 elections. It is interesting that the Democrats are voicing concern about limiting the choices to just two in November. It makes one wonder if the Democrats would prefer RCV to the top 2.

These two statements also leave us to wonder what the Republicans are thinking. The top 2 causes them to lose control of their party label. Both the Democrats and Republicans participated in the lawsuit against the top 2. RCV in Pierce County gives the parties control of their party label at the expense of allowing independents and minor parties a level playing field. The Democrats have said they believe there should be more choice in November. Still so far, we are left to wonder if the Democrats and Republicans would prefer top 2 or RCV.

If the Democrats are sincere about lamenting the lack of choice in November, the state legislature can put statewide RCV on the ballot for voters to consider in 2009. Will they do it?

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At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Chad Lupkes said...

Sounds like a good reason for the Libertarian Party to file a follow up lawsuit challenging the two 2 primary. I agree with your reasoning.



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