So when do corporations vote?
After all, the Federalist Society changed the US Constitution to say that Corporations are People.
Also, since corporations have new employees, they're always pregnant, so we should make sure they can't get rid of them until they've worked there for 18 years plus 9 months from the interview date.
Death by initiative. Faced with voting reform on the ballot by initiative, Council added a second, ensuring that the sniping between two sets of activists will tune the rest of the electorate out, while also polarizing the advocates. End result, folks vote no on the first question and kill the entire thing.
So, we're not going to do a ranked choice vote on the different proposals for voting systems?
Ranked Choice voting worked soooo well for the NYC mayor race, lol.
Ranked choice voting seems great and I supported the switch, but now having lived in a city with RCV for the last 20 years, I can attest that it just leads to confused and unhappy voters and an endless stream of expensive recall elections. Good ideas die because voters didn't say "yes to no" first, bad ideas slip through because sure I guess that's my backup choice why not?—there's a reason your wildcard team has to play a few more games before the Super Bowl.
Sad to say, but the lesser-of-two (perceived) evils might actually be the better system.
Important thing worth noting: If approved, the new system will apply to the primary, not the general election. The general election will be the same as it has been for years. Two candidates will be on the ballot, regardless of party. The plurality winner gets the job. Thus this will only change the way we pick those two people for the general election.
This is a very important distinction, that proponents of instant-runoff (e. g. RCV) are ignoring. RCV won't change much. It is very common for the winner of a multi-person race to get less than 50%. It happens in party primary races all the time. It happens in general elections if there are numerous parties (or people running as independents). We don't have either scenario. In this case, RCV would only change a race if the top two candidates got less than 2/3 of the vote (and the other candidates split the vote). This is rare.
In contrast, we have votes where approval voting would have made all the difference in the world. In the city attorney race, it is highly likely that Holmes would have advanced, and easily beat each fringe candidate. In City Council District 9, it is quite likely that Brianna Thomas would have advanced, and beat either candidate. In both of those races, RCV wouldn't have changed anything. That isn't speculation, that is just math.
Approval voting in a primary system reduces the chance that we have two fringe candidates running against each other (one from the far left, one from the right). It means we can elect people like Holmes or Brianna Thomas, instead of being stuck with people like Sara Nelson or Ann Davison.
'In a city that is mostly white, More Equitable Democracy Director George Cheung and Washington Community Alliance Director Kamau Chege believe that approval voting could drown out minority voters. That argument resonated with Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who said she voted “Yes” because of the concerns that approval voting would give white voters outsized power. Similarly, Councilmember Kshama Sawant said she voted in favor because “Approval voting is a scheme to drown out anti-establishment voices in a sea of pro-establishment candidates."'
As Seattle's voting record shows that racism is not a problem, the reader is left to wonder why advocates for RCV keep using this insulting non-argument. (Of course, CM Herbold fell for it completely, sigh.) What is their real reason for pushing RCV? After all, "RCV advocates, who had been pushing their own system in the state and county for years," without achieving anything even remotely approaching success, have now relied upon the City Council to get onto the ballot. Is their real reason even more repugnant than merely calling Seattle's voters racist?
@6: Yes, in any election with only two candidates, both Ranked-Choice Voting and Approval Voting default to our current system. A better example would be Seattle's wide-open Mayoral Primary of August 2017, which had twenty candidates on the ballot, or even the Mayoral Primary in 2009, which eliminated then-Mayor Nickels. Prior to the 2009 primary, commenters here at the Stranger said they did not want for Mayor Nickels to come in first in the primary, and so were voting for someone else. Well, as it happened, elections cannot be engineered that precisely, and he lost outright. Either Approval Voting or Ranked-Choice Voting might have produced a different result.
"In the city attorney race, it is highly likely that Holmes would have advanced, and easily beat each fringe candidate."
That's conjecture, and not well-founded, either. If you're a regular reader of Slog comments, you know how upset some commenters are over inaction on the Homelessness Crisis. Holmes' refusal to prosecute theft and illegal camping was part of the problem, and NTK promised more of the same, including even domestic violence. In the primary election, voters eliminated the status quo, and in the general election, they eliminated more-of-the-same-but-now-with-more-violence. It's hard to say that was an aberrant result after six years of unsolved Homelessness Crisis.
"This [that the voting system is for a top two primary] is a very important distinction, that proponents of instant-runoff (e. g. RCV) are ignoring. RCV won't change much. It is very common for the winner of a multi-person race to get less than 50%."
For single winner RCV, the winner MUST receive more than 50% support (via 1st, 2nd, etc choices). For our top two primary, the two finalists must have more support than any of the other candidates. RCV advocates are not ignoring this by the way, but we're stuck with the top two primary system by state law at this point. Actually Approval Voting advocates seem to be ignoring this issue, since the top two candidates in Approval Voting can be elected by the same group of voters.
"It happens in party primary races all the time. It happens in general elections if there are numerous parties (or people running as independents)."
Since we can have multiple candidates that identify with the major parties, the vote for a Democrat, or for a Republican, can easily be split among the candidates identifying with those parties, allowing fringe candidates through more easily. With the possibility of vote splitting like that, it is necessary for people to vote strategically to try to avoid it, rather than voting for their honest first choice. RCV addresses this directly.
"Approval voting in a primary system reduces the chance that we have two fringe candidates running against each other (one from the far left, one from the right)."
Compared to the existing system that might be true. But RCV would be better at ensuring that candidates with the broadest support get through to the general.
The biggest problems with Approval Voting for our top two primary are:
the same plurality (not necessarily even a majority) could choose both finalist candidates. This would reduce the amount of choice the general election voters would have even compared to the existing system.
If voters have any preference among the candidates they "approve" of, they will be incentivized to vote only for their first choice, since with Approval Voting, a vote for a second choice can hurt your first choice. Even within our top two primary, a vote for a second choice could help to squeeze out the voter's first choice if it pushes that candidate into third place. If many people only vote for their first choice, that reduces it to something very similar to the existing system.
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