The Coastal Packet: Word: What the recent Maine primary teaches about ranked choice voting

Sunday, July 8

Word: What the recent Maine primary teaches about ranked choice voting

John Rensenbrink (letter to Brunswick Times Record) - First, if the primary had not been run in accordance with RCV, the winner of the 7-candidate Democratic primary, Janet Mills, would have won with only 33 percent of the vote. Because of RCV she received a majority of 56 percent. She now heads to the general election with a far more unified party vote behind her. RCV clearly demonstrated its value in overcoming fractured, minority-constricted victories, something we’ve been afflicted with for decades.

Second, the campaign leading up to the primary was free of negative attacks–a lethal condition of politics today. Candidates found it made good sense to appeal for second place to voters committed to other candidates, thus refraining from slinging mud on those candidates. RCV structurally tilts candidates towards the positive rather than the negative.

Third, an RCV election relieves the voter of being burdened by the scourge of spoilerism. RCV eliminates recourse to the spoiler card and its manipulation by major parties to coerce voters.

And fourth, the June Primary gave RCV a rousing support of 54 percent to 46 percent, even greater than the 52 percent to 48 percent it received in the 2016 Referendum. This speaks volumes.

John Rensenbrink is a co-founder of the Maine Independent Green Party

No comments: