elections: Minnesota's Nation-Best Turnout At Risk

On the election front, a few weeks ago I made the bold pledge that I would "move to Woodbury" if anyone high up in the DFL endorsed the IRV (instant runoff voting) proposal being floated to the Minneapolis City Council.

Well, a week or so after that I was listening to MPR's mid-morning and they had the two party chairs on the radio, "debating" each other. The Republican's Ron Casey and the DFL's Brian Melendez went back and forth, and I couldn't really listen to it.

But right before I could reach up and turn the radio off, they started talking about the Governor's race, and the candidacy of one Peter Hutchinson. (Damn you!!) And, as they pressed Mr. Melendez about the precise meaning of the word "spolier," he actually came out and said he was in favor of IRV. I couldn't believe it -- and I promise, someday, I'll drive through Woodbury. (Here's the link to prove it.)

Of course, it'll still never happen, becuase I don't think Melendez really means what he said. (Or even if he does, he'll not spend much time pushing other Dems to support it.)

But he should mean it, and he should push for it, because he should know that third parties are never going away. They're going to continue to pop up and make things very difficult for big tent parties in this state, and with our partiuclar political landscape, most of those third party challenges are going to come from the left. (That is, unless the Libertarians can get organized.)

Without IRV or something like it, the big parties will continue to live with the Hutchinsonian axe hovering over them threatening to bleed 5% off their vote each time they have a tight battle.

Or, does anyone really thing that Hutchinson is going to steal voters from Pawlenty?


One thing that pisses me off is all this talk in the Republican Party about requiring photo ID's at the polls. What an anti-immigrant, anti-democratic idea! I guess that's why they're not called the "democratic" party . . .


Anonymous said...

Hutchinson won't "steal" votes from anybody. He's a serious candidate, and a vote cast for him is a good as a vote cast for a DFL or GOP candidate.

Wm said...

OK, maybe "steal" is the wrong word. I'm a big fan of third parties, and I'd love nothing more than to see third parties compete state-wide. But barring a non-fluke candidate, third parties have to grow from the bottom up -- and that means city councils and school boards.

The best possible result for a Hutchinson supporter is 10% -- and that's not bloody likely.

Wm said...

i meant, barring a fluke candidate (i.e. ventura)