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Re: “Oakland City Council Okays Instant Runoffs

Mr. Gammon's article is, unfortunately, slanted against IRV, in an indirect way; By expressing the use of IRV as a benefit to one group of politicians while a detriment to another denigrates IRV. Mr. Gammon apparently misses the whole point of having IRV in the first place, which is that the VOTERS should be in control and that the VOTERS should be electing the politicians, not the other way around. The Council's approval of IRV should NOT be considered a benefit or a detriment to any politician, per se, but rather the only proper and legal outcome possible, given that the voters have already approved it. Hence, the Council's vote to uphold their sworn duty was a victory for everyone concerned...there were NO losers...even those who opposed IRV based on their own (mis) perceptions now have a clearly defined playing field where the political rules (and laws) have been timely and fairly laid out.

Presently, in Oakland, there is "slow run-off". The voters have to vote for the lesser of two evils and have to be wary of "wasting their vote" on someone they really want, but cannot vote for because that person may not
succeed in getting past the primary. Then they have to vote AGAIN, in the run-offs. Instant Run-off Voting (IRV), on the other hand, allows for the voters to see "all the cards on the table at once"
and vote for everyone they really want in one election.
The issue of IRV costs is, and always was a red-herring...the costs long term will be less because there wont need to be run-offs...over time there will be savings and those will be substantial...more than compensating for the up-front costs.
Getting back to the politicians: How they finally decide to campaign and how the voters act in response to their campaigns will, of course, be another matter and in the upcoming elections there certainly will be winners and losers, but for now the will of the voters has been upheld and there's an open and level playing field for all....so "PLAY (political) BALL!", and let the best men (and women) win!

Posted by edwardtlp on 01/06/2010 at 8:41 AM

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