Larry Bradley’s Ezine #400 Why Do We Need RCV?

Weekly Ezine Number 400

What Is Happening with Election Reform?
Why Do We Need Ranked Choice Voting?

What Is Happening with Election Reform?

–Wow! Number 400! And they said we would run out of things to write about. 

–My public presentations are over, but I have two other private presentations. The first is at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS on Oct 8 at 1:00 p.m. The second is for a Political Science Society of Fellows associated with the Kinder Institute at Missouri University on Oct 24 at 5:30 p.m. I am open to doing another program in those locations if you know of a group of people who have an interest in my doing so.

Given the remarks and rankings I get from my feedback forms, I would say I offer a fresh perspective that today’s students (as well as other citizens) are simply not getting elsewhere. I remember having a very similar feeling of clarity when I listened to people like Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy talk about how to achieve personal and financial success. I’m pleased to be able to offer that new sense of clarity regarding our politics, elections and government.

–I had an OpEd published in the Topeka Capital Journal on Sunday, Sept 16, 2018. The citizens of Kansas are facing a difficult choice between three candidates for Governor. My proposed reforms would make their choice easy.

–I was interviewed by KMBZ radio in Kansas City before my Park University presentation. Here is their blog entry about what we talked about.

–Similar to my OpEd, this is a question you should be asking candidates for your state legislature no matter where you live. However, the answer you should be looking for is not independent commissions. The answer is proportional representation.…/article_6b7da430-c056-11e8-bf…

–This offering clearly illustrates (without intending to) how the ballot we use enables the behavior we have from candidates seeking office. As the article points out, candidates are not required to get a majority of the vote. They’re only required to get one vote more than everyone else.…/Political-scientist-American-isnt-as…

–“They’ll see the light when they feel the heat.” Good article, but once again, the solution is not independent redistricting. The solution is proportional representation.…/partisan-politics-reform-il…/
–Stuff You Should Know just explained RCV on their podcast
–The New York Times did a piece about how RCV could have made a difference in Massachusetts’ primary. The article clearly illustrates our need to go to a system that will give us majority winners.
–Finally today, my good friend Scott Siebel from has let me know about an effort to do away with Ranked Choice Voting in Memphis, TN. Scott reports, “Save IRV Memphis is a group that’s formed to help protect the use of instant runoff voting for Memphis city elections. The people of Memphis passed RCV with 71% of the vote back in 2008. They haven’t used it yet due to election administration issues. The election administrator is prepared to use RCV for the 2019 municipal races. Now the city council has put a repeal of RCV on the ballot this November. Save IRV Memphis is working on the ground to get Memphis voters to vote No on repeal, but they need your help. I created a form here to sign up to make calls into Memphis to tell them to vote No on repeal. Please send this form out to your people to get them to sign up to make calls.”
In addition, Scott offered these links to better explain what’s going on in Memphis. Steve Mulroy is the man behind RCV being approved in Memphis in the first place.
As far as we’re concerned, this is all about the efforts of a minority to be able to retain power without having to modify their positions on issues, which the requirement to get a majority of the vote would require candidates to do.
Why Do We Need Ranked Choice Voting?

Every once in a while, you have to put your money where your mouth is. Or, in my case, I literally put my mouth/voice where my beliefs and passion are.

I just finished attending an Election Reform Summit in Denver, Colorado last weekend. It was a gathering of true kindred minds, well organized, highly informative and motivational. I want to highlight a couple of things for you.

First, RCV for Colorado has a petition drive underway to put RCV on the ballot in Pueblo, Colorado. As part of that effort, we Summit participants set up our laptops and cell phones in a meeting room at a library in Denver. We hooked up to the library’s Wi-Fi to connect to a dialer and made calls to voters in Pueblo. This is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I was (among other things) a sales guy, so I’m not afraid to make calls like this. Especially with a dialer. The dialer makes the work easy.

Here is the discovery I made making those calls. Of the calls where I actually talked with someone, the most prominent objection I got was, “Oh, I don’t take political calls.” That’s what they said. What they meant was politics today is so mean and contentious they didn’t want to be involved with politics. I understand that.

But what I figured out I should have said to them is this. When they said, “Oh, I don’t take political calls,” I should have said, “That’s exactly why you need to talk with me.” Followed by, “If you’re telling me you don’t take political calls, then my guess is it’s because politics is so nasty and contentious you don’t want to be involved. Why you want to talk with me, though, is because I’m offering you the very thing that will take the nastiness and contentiousness out of politics. Can I tell you what that thing is?”

And then I would tell them about RCV and how it results in more positive campaigning and givers voters more choices. We’ve got a lot of people avoiding politics right now because of the nastiness. They need to know RCV is the solution.

Here’s the second thing I learned I want to offer you today (among the hundred other things I learned) because this offers a clear explanation of why RCV is the solution. I learned this from a guy from Colorado named Rick VanWie. Rick said the really neat thing about RCV is it enables voters to “Vote their dreams, but preserve their values.”

In other words, RCV enables voters to vote for the candidate who best represents their point of view without worrying that doing so will enable the candidate who’s their dream buster to win. Voters are no longer forced to vote for someone who doesn’t really represent their values, but is the lesser of two evils.

Your friends and neighbors need to get that message, too. Oh, and if you know someone who lives in Pueblo or Memphis, tell them we need their help to make elections better.

See you next time.



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