Thursday, March 20, 2008

We can help eliminate the "spoiler" problem: Instant runoff voting has a chance in Vermont!--and could HERE!

Hi Impeachment People and Greens:
If the Democrats--or the Republicans--want to call Nader or Greens or
Libertarians spoilers, it'e only because the Democrats and Republicans
want to exclude everybody else. The Democrats and Republicans clearly
have it in their power to eliminate the spoiler issue by adopting
Instant Runoff Voting--as the Vermont legislature has just done!

Susan Serpa passes this on from Tony Duncan and Move-on in Vermont.
This is the most open-minded action I've seen from Move-On, but I
don't know yet whether it is confined to Vermont. But if the Democrats
in Connecticut decide to do what Democrats in Vermont have done, there
will be no more reason for resentment of Ralph Nader, or the Greens,
or anyone who wants to vote for what they actually believe. Take a

Tony Duncan: "The below form Move-on is mainly targeted to Vermonters,
but I hope this helps the idea spread. We actually have a real chance
to make this happen. Instant runoff voting will revolutionize the
voting process in the US. I think this is probably the easiest most
important improvement we can make to democratic government.
Interestingly governor Douglas of Vermont, who wants to veto the bill
would not have become governor if it had been in place when he was
first elected. This is worth fighting for! Governor Jim Douglas

Basically instead of voting for one candidate, you vote for each
candidate in order of preference. This eliminates the "lesser of two
evils" choice that keeps people from voting for the candidate that
most closely represents their beliefs. t 3rd or 4rth party candidates
would not "take away" votes from the lesser of two evils. If someone
does not have a majority of votes as the #1 pick, then their #2 votes
are added to the total, and whoever gets to a majority first wins .

So if Nader, Ron Paul, Clinton and McCain are in the general election,
you could have Nader as your first pick, Hilllary, as your second,
Paul as your third. if Nader got 18% of the vote, Hillary got 34% Paul
12% and McCain 36% McCain would not win.. The vote would go to the #2
preference. So if Clinton got the majority of votes from the second
choice of Nader and Paul voters she would then win, even though McCain
was the initial highest vote getter. Nader would not be the "spoiler"
in this case. Nor would Paul. So people could vote their conscience
with a clear conscience and it would more accurately reflect the
actual support for each candidate

I have been supporting Instant runoff for more than 10 years and have
been amazed that it has taken so long to be really utilized, but it
threatens the two party system. One of the key dynamics that it
changes in elections is that it becomes important NOT to turn off
supporters of other candidates, and it tends to get candidates to talk
about how to solve problems.


(And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks
anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this
uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which
children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are
pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with
official rubber-stamps.
-H.L. Mencken)

On Mar 20, 2008, at 10:43 , Noah T. Winer, Political Action wrote:

Dear Vermont MoveOn member,

Vermont could become the first state in the nation to use instant runoff
voting to elect members of Congress. The state legislature just passed a
bill to use the innovative voting system which prevents "spoilers."1

Instant runoff voting means you don't have to vote for the lesser of two
evils--instead, you can rank the candidates in the order you like them
with no risk of "throwing away" your vote.

But Governor Jim Douglas has threatened to veto the bill. Only a public
outcry can stop him.

Can you urge Gov. Douglas to let Vermont use instant runoff voting?

Governor Jim Douglas

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Two years ago, Burlington became the first city in the country to use
instant runoff voting to elect a mayor--and now 10 cities do the same.2
The system is tested and it works.

With instant runoff voting, you rank the candidates in the order you like
them. If your first choice doesn't make it, your vote goes to your second
choice instead of being thrown out. Say goodbye to "spoiler" candidates,
and say hello to electing the leaders with the most support from voters.

Instant runoff voting is endorsed by the League of Women Voters of
Vermont, the Vermont State Grange, the Vermont AFL-CIO, Common Cause
Vermont, and VPIRG. State leaders like Howard Dean, Secretary of State Deb
Markowitz, U.S. Representative Peter Welch, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders,
and past Secretary of State Don Hooper also support instant runoff

Instant runoff voting is a great way to demonstrate just how much support
there is for truly progressive candidates, even when they can't yet win a
majority. You could vote for the most progressive candidate without
helping your least favorite candidate get elected. You wouldn't need to
choose between voting for who you really support and voting for who has
the best chance of winning.

Please urge Gov. Douglas to let Vermont use instant runoff voting.

Governor Jim Douglas

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Thank you for all you do.

--Noah, Adam G., Tanya, Justin, and the Political Action Team
Thursday, March 20th, 2008

P.S. To learn more about instant runoff voting, check out this animation
from our friends at FairVote:

1. "VT House approves instant runoff voting," Vermont Public Radio, March
13, 2008

2. "IRV a success in Burlington, VT," FairVote, March 13, 2006

"Instant Runoff Voting Wins Preliminary Approval," WCAX-TV, March 13, 2008

3. "Vermont Organizations Endorsing IRV," FairVote