Flashpoints – March 10, 2017

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  • This quick description of rank choice voting is problematic. Jill Stein is promoting a particular form of ranking known as Instant run off voting. Yes, there is a ranking involved but the instant run off aspect is a mathematical formula for solving a problem of ties or the possibility of no winner.

    The voters are denied the opportunity to express displeasure with the choices engineered by hierarchic political parties, Greens included. If the people cannot decide which hierarchy’s candidate is best, then a mathematical formula allocates preference rankings until a winner emerges.

    Ranking of preferences is an idea that includes nuanced preferences and autonomous democracy as well as instant run off schemes that ensure one of the party candidates is chosen. Jill Stein is a bit dishonest when she labels instant run off voting as ranked choice voting. A real and proper ranking of choices could very well lead to a failed election without a clear winner and the need for a new election. Election laws for this can also be written by legislators rather than a mathematical formula.

    Elections can cost about 50¢ per citizen. Jill Stein is promoting a way to save that 50¢ and at the same time ensure that one of the party candidates wins. In this case it might be Jill simply because she is in the race even though very few people actually voted for her as their first choice. Who says someone should win? What is the problem with no winner and the need for a new election. Jill has a near 100% chance of being a party candidate until she is too old to do it anymore. The type of instant run off she is pushing might secure her a victory but it obscures a possible path to progress away from hierarchical political parties. Jill could still win with preference rank voting if there were no instant run off formula applied. So far, Greens are unwilling to give full power to the people.

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