Due to the Minnesota’s gubernatorial election being won by a minority of the vote while an IRV measure was passing in the city of Minneapolis, the media and the people are talking about having IRV for the entire state. NPR did a segment on IRV this week. One Minneapolis City Councilmember says she likes IRV because it deepens democracy.
When I saw the word “merger” in the title of Lori Sturdevant’s Nov. 12 column, I couldn’t believe she was writing of the center-left merger I had been dreaming about. I was wrong, of course; Sturdevant was talking about a possible DFL-I or DFL-Green merger to resolve the “spoiler” problem in statewide elections.
I would argue that the passage of instant runoff voting (IRV) statewide (as Minneapolis has just done for city elections) would have the same result as her dream of a merger and would preserve the long history of third parties in Minnesota.
Why should we compromise our principles to merge with the PAC-influenced DFL?
IAN STADE, MINNEAPOLIS
In November 2006, there were IRV measures on the ballot in four jurisdictions: Pierce County, WA; Minneapolis; Oakland and Davis, CA. All four of the measures passed. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has gone on to advocate IRV be adopted statewide. The gubernatorial election in Minnesota elected another governor with less than a majority of the votes. This is the third election in a row and voters are tired of this type of result.
The last two elections have been classic demonstrations of the need for instant runoff elections. I wonder how many people would have voted for other candidates if they had a choice of ranking them by order of desirability. I wonder who would have actually won had instant runoff elections been in operation.
Instant runoff elections would provide the Independence Party with more legitimacy because voters could truly vote for who they wanted in office instead of voting for another candidate out of fear that their vote could be wasted. Better still, the least desired candidate will not gain office.
The two major parties have resisted this legislation because they recognize the potential outcome, but it is time for voters to demand instant runoff elections.