while it’s just a matter of time before an independent wins the White House, America’s “winner-takes-all” voting system suppresses potential support for independent candidates and blocks their fair representation in Congress. We need new rules better designed for the realities of today’s politics. Americans’ desire for independents at all levels of government is clear.Read the whole thing.
Americans’ desire for independents at all levels of government is clear. Independents and third-party candidates have won recent gubernatorial elections in Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, and, in 2010, Rhode Island. Last year, independent candidates also finished ahead of major party nominees in races for governor and US Senate in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, and Maine . . .
plurality voting is not mandated in our Constitution . . . To combat the injustice of plurality voting rules that we use in our presidential election, many cities, states, and nations require a separate runoff election between the top two finishers if no candidate earns a first-round majority . . .
The problem of voting representation is even greater in congressional elections. It’s time to take on elections that distort fair representation in our state legislatures and Congress . . .
Reforming winner-takes-all elections for state legislatures and Congress may be a greater challenge than upholding majority rule with runoff systems in presidential elections, but doing so is a pre-condition for giving all voters real choices and new voices.
As a start, Congress should repeal a 1967 law that took away the power of states to adopt proportional voting systems for US House elections. As alternatives to winner-takes-all systems, proportional voting allows like minded voters to earn seats in proportion to their share of the vote – 30 percent of the vote earns 3 of 10 seats, rather than nothing, which would be the case if their chosen candidate didn’t win the most votes in their district.
Hello dear readers and friends! I hope you all had a relaxing or exciting holiday weekend, as the case may be. I took a much needed blog break myself, which you might have noticed, and am still catching up on the news from the last few days. Did you see John Anderson's op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor last Thursday? He touches on one of the big points of discussion in the comments here over the weekend. The former Independent candidate for president in 1980 and current board member of Fair Vote argues strongly against the winner-take-all system, and in favor of a number of electoral reforms, including runoff voting in presidential elections and proportional representation in Congress and state legislatures. Some excerpts: