Larry Bradley’s Ezine #403 Would President Bush 41 Have Endorsed Election Reform?

What Is Happening with Election Reform?
Would President George H. W. Bush Have Endorsed Election Reform?

What Is Happening with Election Reform?
To save time, allow me to quote from a FairVote.org email about our most recent election results. I have some additional things I want to talk about regarding the election results and election reform, but I’ll save those for another Ezine, which probably won’t be until next year. Wishing you the best of holidays. So, here’s what FairVote had to say–
“Maine made history on Nov. 6 by becoming the first state to elect Members of Congress with RCV. This election was the culmination of years of advocacy by groups like the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, innovative voter education by groups like the League of Women Voters of Maine, and effective administration by Maine election officials. A testament to the success of all of these different efforts was the ranked choice voting election for U.S. Senate drew more voters than any other in the state’s history of midterm elections, and in the 2nd congressional District, RCV broke a 46% -46% tie to uphold majority rule. FairVote partnered with the Bangor Daily News and Colby professors on an exit poll that showed more than three in five Mainers want to keep RCV in place and a majority of respondents from all parties believe that RCV was easy to use and that winning with a majority is very important.

“Memphis voters upheld ranked choice voting by soundly rejecting referendums the city council proposed that would have repealed the reform. We were proud to provide support and work closely with the volunteer-directed campaign to save RCV and look forward to the city’s first-ever use of the system in 2019.

“A full-page New York Times editorial embraced the Fair Representation Act and our Monopoly Politics 2020 report showcased the need for change by projecting winners in more than 4 in 5 House races years before they occur.
“We were thrilled by great coverage of ranked choice voting by Radiolab, Freakonomics, USA Today, and other media outlets, from senior fellow Dave Daley on what’s next for redistricting reform in the Los Angeles Times to our insights into RCV in Maine being widely quoted our law and policy team’s careful work in recounts being cited in publication all across the country. You’ll always find the latest on our Voices and Choices blog.
“2018 has brought us much closer to a tipping point where ranked choice voting will be the norm in our elections and where the consensus will be that every voter in every election should have fair and secure access to the polls, meaningful ballot choices, and a real chance to elect a representative.”

A recent Kansas City Star OpEd by Dave Helling in essence blamed a third party candidate in the Kansas Governor’s race for muddying the waters and blamed the candidate for his poor showing, rather than recognizing that circumstances were responsible. Accordingly, we wrote this response, but didn’t get it submitted in time to be published. We’ve placed it on our Blog for you to read, along with Helling’s column. http://blog.thecenterstrikesback.org/?p=239

Would President George H. W. Bush Have Endorsed Election Reform?

We think the answer to our title question is yes. That’s because he was denied a second term as President by the Spoiler Scenario. The votes H. Ross Perot got for President in 1992 were, by and large, votes that would have gone to Bush. If Perot had not run, then the Republican vote would not have been split and Bush would likely have defeated Clinton. If our proposal for the Electoral College had been in place in 1992, then Bush would likely have won, because the votes that went for Perot in each state would have gone back to Bush and therefore given Bush the electors needed to win. Similarly, Al Gore would likely have defeated Bush’s son George in 2000 if the voters for Ralph Nader had been allowed a second choice.

Allow us to make a few remarks about President Bush on this occasion of his passing. We think President George H. W. Bush is a superb example of the qualities (especially courage and intelligence) and experience we should be looking for in a Presidential candidate.

I once had a First Sergeant offer this challenge to me. I was a 1st Lieutenant about to make Captain. His expectation was that my manner of performance would be such to get me promoted to the next rank and to serve on a high level staff. The First Sergeant said to me, “I challenge you that when you get up to some high level staff and some inane policy is proposed to remember what the impact of that policy will be down here where the rubber meets the road.”

In other words, I was being challenged to remember the realities of the day to day existence in a troop unit and the difficulties in maintaining excellence there.

The reason for bringing that story up to you is because of the principle it illustrates. President Bush knew what it was like to be down where the rubber meets the road. He knew from flying all those missions in the Pacific in World War II, one of which he was shot down from.

When you read through his resume’, you see someone who had been in contact with a lot of roads in both private for profit business and in government. Bush was someone who appreciated the difference between private business and government, both their purpose and how they worked. He appreciated how each, if done properly, could be beneficial to society as a whole.

As a leader, he knew what his job was and he did it. He didn’t try to do work he shouldn’t be doing. If character counts in a Presidential candidate, then so, too, does work experience.

But more than that, there is the character and the characteristic of courage. There are a lot of behavioral skills that can be learned and polished. Some are more difficult than others. Making a lot of money, for example, is a fairly rare skill. But rarest of all is the demonstration of personal courage. A close second is pure raw intelligence and the ability to apply it. Consequently, I would advise you to look for examples of intelligence and courage in the background of political candidates. The good news, the silver lining if you will, of our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is that our participation there is going to bring forward candidates who will exhibit the intelligence and courage we need in our leaders to take us forward to a better future. Look for them. And encourage them to step forward by cleaning up our election processes with election reform.

See you next time. Again, Happy Holidays.

Regards,

Larry

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