Weekly Ezine Number 406
What Is Happening with Election Reform?
What Is Happening with Election Reform?
Last week we wrote about the imbalance in representation in the U.S. Senate because of severe differences in state populations. We’re not alone. A columnist named Stephen Mihm of Bloomberg News also took the topic on. We think his analysis and proposed solutions are worth considering. https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/syndicated-columnists/article226101590.html
Last week we also notified you of two Bills in the Missouri House of Representatives for Ranked Choice Voting. We had hoped the hearings would be this past week, but they weren’t. We’ll let you know when those hearings are scheduled. Meanwhile, we continue to urge you if you haven’t done so already to contact your representatives (in Missouri or not) as we described.
Missouri is not alone in acting on Ranked Choice Voting. Maryland introduced a new RCV Bill. Happy to see this Bill allows a local municipality the option to RCV. The comments are inaccurate about RCV and its impact. RCV is superior to “Top Two”. https://bethesdamagazine.com/…/ranked-choice-voting-bill-…/…
The state of Utah is trying a pilot program for local elections using RCV. If you’re having a local mayoral election this Spring, then this article should be especially interesting to you. https://www.fairvote.org/empowering_utah_cities_to_fight_spoilers_with_ranked_choice_voting?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI-83kksO54AIVmLfsCh1IrACgEAAYASAAEgLqzvD_BwE
In addition, Iowa’s Democratic Party just announced they will be using Ranked Choice Voting in the Iowa Caucuses for President next November. We wish all the states were using it for either their caucuses or primaries. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/…/iowa-democr…/2846267002/
The momentum for RCV is building nationwide. Be the smart one for your friends and neighbors. Be the one who tells them about RCV, instead of them telling you.
What Does the “Emergency Declaration” Show Us about Our Elections?
Until this Thursday night, Feb 14, 2019, we had two other topics to write about in paragraph two. But the actions of the current President to declare a National Emergency in order to build a continuous wall along our Southern Border with Mexico causes a rewrite.
We won’t debate the merits of the wall itself. Instead, we will maintain our focus on the flaws in our election system and how those flaws enabled us to reach this contentious position.
This Presidential action illustrates a principle I once heard eloquently described by a Business Law professor of mine. The Professor said, “It’s easy to write legislation to have the intended effect you want to have. What’s difficult to write is legislation that avoids unintended and negative effects from the implementation of the legislation. Before you cast a big rock in the water because you want to see how big a splash you can make, you have to think about whose boats are you going to rock from the ripples that result from the splash.”
The negative effects here are clear. We are a nation of laws and precedents. We (historically) have based our government’s actions on a system of laws and checks and balances. The process is slow and cumbersome. The process was intended to be as such. We had only recently rid ourselves of a system of Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, and Dukes and Duchesses. We rejected a system that would enable someone to act on their whims like a King or Queen.
If the current President is allowed to act unilaterally to do this action he wants done (In effect, acting like a King), he then establishes the precedent for the next President to do the same.
So, if you’re someone who favors the wall, then ask yourself these questions: Are you OK with the next President unilaterally–Mandating the transition to electrically powered cars?
Limiting firearms ownership? Disbanding all private medical insurance companies?
If your answer to those questions is no, then keep in mind the principle stated above in the parlance of my Army sergeants, “What goes around, comes around.” Better to keep something from going around in the first place.
Finally, here’s how this situation relates to our elections. We need to recognize as voters that when we vote for someone as President that we are not voting for a “Boss of Bosses”. We need to recognize when we hear a candidate claim that, if elected, “I will do this” or “I will do that”, then they are not being accurate or truthful with us.
What candidates mean when they say “I will do this” is that these are the actions they will propose to the Congress. For candidates’ proposed actions to become a reality, a majority of the members in each house of the Congress must agree. Getting that agreement means you as a voter need to be voting for members of Congress who will agree with the ideas of the Presidential candidate you support. This also means you need to insist your support of the Congressional candidates you want elected is not overridden by gerrymandering or the impact of dark money and that those who win Congressional seats do so with a majority, not a plurality, of the vote.
Otherwise you must be in favor of going back to having Kings and Queens.
But those are topics for another day.
See you next time.