Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nader and Ranked Choice Voting

Ranked choice voting is the answer. Ralph Nader is the question. Nader's recent announcement of his candidacy for President is a reminder of how our current system of electing candidates is flawed.

Many Democrats believe that Nader cost Al Gore the Presidency. These people believe that if those Florida voters who voted for Nader were asked who their second choice was they would have listed Gore.

Why do the Democrats hate it when a like minded candidate announces his candidacy? Why don't people welcome this candidate who broadens the debate? Our current system makes him a spoiler. Ranked choice voting makes him just another candidate.

If we used ranked choice voting to elect our President, those Florida voters would have had the opportunity to reveal their second choices and those second choices would have had an impact on the election.

In Pierce County this year, there are two strong Democrats (Calvin Goings and Pat McCarthy) running for County Executive. Goings and McCarthy plus independent Mike Lonergan will all be on the November ballot. Since Pierce County will be using ranked choice voting, voters will be able to reveal their first, second and third choices.

The Democrats in Pierce County are counting on Democratic voters to list Goings and McCarthy as their first and second choices. Further, they are hoping to get Lonergan's supporters to list McCarthy and Goings as their second and third choices. If they are successful, one of the Democrats will win.

Too bad, this system has not been adopted nationwide. Then all of us would welcome Nader into the race as someone who will broaden the debate without spoiling the election.

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At 12:28 AM, Blogger howws said...

Not only too bad it hasn't been adopted. Too bad Nader himself never mentions the thing when asked repeatedly about the "spoiler" issue.

I've written about it in a very short piece called The Key Issue Suspiciously Missing from Ralph Nader's "Table".

It gets pretty hard to defend him when even he doesn't talk about the necessary reforms.

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Jim Burrows said...

In previous Nader appearances, he did push IRV quite hard. Maybe he's getting too old. I voted for Ralph in 2000, didn't like the result and have been an IRV fan ever since.


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