We’ve come some distance from where we started. The destination has none of the trappings advertised and, it seems, we are nowhere near the place we were promised to be. This was not in the brochure.
With the CD 2 race breaking records for the amount of money spent, Mainers are wondering, while standing knee deep in all the residual left over from campaign mud slinging, why they find themselves burdened with more of everything that RCV promised to eliminate. The grandiose, Utopian promise of a kinder, gentler, majority approved, and fiscally spartan campaigns have proven to be as fraudulent as the “everyone-gets-a-trophy” voting platform it’s built on. But when have Utopian promises ever come true?
The fundamental premise of RCV is flawed and its genesis is suspect at best. The idea that any other candidate then the two major party candidates are spoiler candidates is bereft of any respect for the right of the individual. Furthermore, the idea that there should only be two final choices flies in the face of the tenets of our Republic, which promises that any person who qualifies may aspire to public office. RCV smacks of old world European socialism, which grants the people opportunity to chose between two government sanctioned parties.
The frustration with “spoiler candidates” is not new. Republicans were livid with Ross Perot for what they perceived was a sabotage to President George H.W. Bush’s second term and paved the way for the Clinton machine. No matter what side of the political divide cries foul, the Republic has always afforded an avenue for all voices to call for power and that the candidate who emerges from the din with a majority, of whatever variety, wins.
Maine has even had a spoiler candidate for a Governor. Angus King somehow emerged from the shrouds of spoilage to gain the plurality of votes. With Governor King, for this conservative, the temptation to try and deligitimize a duly elected official based on the current political climate is real, but in fairness, that’s left to a Trump crazed media and…Ranked Choice Voting.
Its still more than ironic that those who decry the challenges to RCV as an assault on the voter’s confidence in the voting process spent millions in an effort to erode the voter’s confidence in the voting process in order to pass RCV. One person one vote, its that simple. Giving a little child an unearned trophy to take away the sting of losing is a bad way to raise children and an even worse way to elect our government.
By Andy Torbett