Instant Runoff Voting is less complicated than many of the consumer surveys we see online. To suggest that certain voters won't be able to handle ranking the candidates, 1, 2, 3, seems rather condescending.
In our tightly restricted two-party system, in which most races have only two contenders, the major parties have little patience for new voices that might split their vote or "spoil" a race. Witness the 2000 election, which many Democrats still say was spoiled by Ralph Nader (even though Bush got 13 million votes from Democrats).
Likewise, the Democrats in the state legislature resist opening the North Carolina election process to third parties because they perceive any left-of-center third parties as a threat when margins are thin in the legislature. The ballot access laws are obscenely restrictive (www.ncopenelections.org).
Most of the great reforms in American politics have begun with third parties (abolition, sufferance, labor reforms, the anti-trust movement). As Instant Runoff Voting makes major party candidates realize they have nothing to fear from third parties, political discourse will blossom in North Carolina.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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