When W was elected in 2000 many on the left took it for proof that American electoral system is deeply flawed. It was decided that Bush 43 was only able to win the contest because the liberal vote was split between Ralph Nader and Al Gore. If only liberals were able to vote for both the radical Nader and the Democrat who went out of his way to appeal to the middle, such injustice could have been avoided.
Ranked-choice voting (or instant run-off) is supposed to be the remedy against the injustice. In ranked choice voting, voters are asked to rank candidates in order of preference. If after everyone’s first choices are tabulated one of the candidates has the necessary percentage of votes, he is proclaimed the winner. If not, second choice votes are added, and so on and so forth. This way, the thinking goes, if Al Gore’s and Ralph Nader’s votes were added together, Al Gore would have been the winner in Florida.
In November 2010, ranked-choice voting was tried out in many Bay Area cities, including Oakland, CA. In Oakland, Don Perata received 35% of first ranks in the multi-candidate mayoral election, but narrowly lost the ranked choice to Jean Quan who got just 24% of first choices.
So nobody liked Jean Quan that much at the time of the election. And boy, nobody likes her now. After Oakland police removed the thugs of #Occupy Oakland from Frank Ogawa Plaza, #Occupy posted messages on Quan’s Facebook page, and Quan, claiming that she didn’t know that the police would remove them, apologized to the occupiers, and invited them back.
Mayor Quan was booed at an #Occupy event, in violation of their beloved anarchist routine, no more no less. Police officers said that she confuses them. She doesn’t simply confuse them, as I said before, she put OPD’s lives and well-being in jeopardy. Why? It seems that the person governing a city with a long standing tradition of political and racial violence, some of it recent, has to make a decision regarding the continuous presence of radical left occupiers in public space, and stick to it. Quan’s spineless indecision ignited #Occupy Oakland’s sense of self-importance and inspired contempt.
Well, perhaps this is the kind of leadership ranked-choice voting produces: spineless, scared, indecisive. Enough people did not not care for Jean Quan, so she rose up to be the Mayor.
Ranked-choice voting is a product of infantile adults who refuse to take responsibility for their choices. We conservatives should encourage this deep-blue electoral trend because it prevents true leaders from rising in America’s most liberal cities.
Full disclosure: Although I voted for Al Gore in 2000, I didn’t feel at the time that the instant run-off was superior to the system we already have in place. Plus, I didn’t see how this design would benefit liberals more than conservatives.