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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Live, it's Election Night

Over to the Free Press main site tonight you will find a live conversation about the election.


Reading the comments on the article on Kiss winning was alarming, to say the least.
IRV is a simple straightforward way of making sure the winner gets a majority. Socialism? Hardly.
Maybe the warnings about Americans not being smart enough to understand any voting system besides simple plurality are right. I'm surprised the idiots who made those comments are smart enough to turn a computer on. It scares me to think these same people vote.
"IRV is a simple straightforward way of making sure the winner gets a majority." What? IRV is a gamer's delight. How about a simple straightforward runoff: two candidates, one vote per person and two weeks for the candidates to draw distinctions, not play safe for second (Kiss). I believe Kurt would've won a separate two-candidate runoff. But when city voters also agree to jack up their property taxes by ten percent, I guess anything is possible.
The first comment on this thread is the work of an arrogant elitist, probably a Prog who's relieved that Kiss won despite losing in two rounds. Anyone who diagrees with you on IRV is dumb and shouldn't be allowed to vote, eh?

IRV is a game of hypothetical elections that "manufactures" a majority for someone other than the top voter getter in the first -- and in this case even the second - vote.

I've got advanced degrees after college and I think IRV is a bad idea. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a hick, smartypants.
"IRV is a simple straightforward way of making sure the winner gets a majority."

hey dum dum, kiss didn't get a majority. after 3 rounds.

most people in burlington (52%) didn't put him as their 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd choice.

the winner sure got a majority this time!! wait...

still like IRV? yep. but it's not because it makes sense, is simple, or straightforward. it is for one reason only: you are a progressive, and your candidate couldn't win in any other system. period.

(oh, I'll stop . . . I was just sitting here thinking about successful politicians who were elected their first time without a majority of votes. In fact, Clinton NEVER won over 50%. Oh, never mind, just ignore me . . . it's just that the holier-than-thou IRV crowd informs me that those that win less than a majority are illegitimate victors so I guess I'm a little confused about what to make of the guy who finished second but somehow won the race.)
IRV is doing EXACTLY what it was designed to do: get Progressives elected. Period. End of story.
The IRV system saved Burlington taxpayers a lot of money. Without it,a second election would have been required, probably with the same results. Clearly the votes left of center were divided by two strong candidates. The addition of three peripheral candidates complicated matters. Had the election been between three strong candidates, ie, the Republican, the Democrat, and the Progressive, the election would have been settled on the second go-round and the left-of-center majority would still have been served. Reality is that a clear majority of Burlington voters vote left of center. In all probability, had there been two candidates, the vote still would have gone left of center. The Democratic and Progressive votes combined still would have defeated the Republican--even a popular one.
It's interesting to note the GOP's sour grapes. When Al Gore got more votes than George Bush, that was OK. We use the electoral college they said.

But when Wrong, I mean, Wright gets more votes he should be Mayor.

Burlington decided to use IRV. Get over it.
"The IRV system saved Burlington taxpayers a lot of money. Without it, a second election would have been required, probably with the same results."

"Probably?" And that's the point. We'll never know how Kiss and Wright would have done in a real runoff, one on one, because IRV deprived us of that opportunity.

It's called a real election, as opposed to the hypothetical one IRV gives us.

Real elections are good for Democracy.

Hypothetical elections are good for Progs.
The electoral college, for good or bad, is part of the U.S. Constitution. Thus, by definition, it is constitutional. IRV is a creature of liberal elites enacted in places like Burlington, San Fran, Cambridge, MA, etc., to give fringe left voters 2, 3 or more votes in a single election.
I am not a Republican but the IRV approach to electing a mayor in Burlington seems manufactured and not a good way to represent the will of the people. The "it saves money" argument is lame.
Sixty four percent of the voters of Burlington voted for IRV as their election method. The "lame" savings argument appealed to them as did the convenience. Interesting that those who put saving the taxpayers money above all else normally now want to spend it unnecessarily when they think there is a remote possibility of people changing their minds in a couple of weeks time.
Of course, the "majority" has also supported various other unconstitutional election methods over the years (e.g., poll taxes, gerrymandered districts, etc.) which didn't magically render them constitutional. Kind of like Chittenden County's ridiculous six-member Senate district.
Thank you to The Progressive Party for the 5:52 post!
Sorry, but I'm just a citizen.
5:52 post
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