Several days after Jared Golden in Maine's 2nd Congressional district became the first person to win a federal election via Ranked Choice Vote, I'm finally getting around to saying something about it directly here at dbcgreentx.net. And what I'm saying is...I'm psyched. RCV won't always produce the results we want, or even results we can tolerate, but it will reflect the will of the majority. Despite outgoing Rep. Bruce Poliquin's petulant protest (and lawsuit), RCV is also the will of the voting majority in Maine; it worked, and I'm pleased as Punch.
Golden Is Not Necessarily a CIA Democrat
World Socialist Website is right to fret about the "CIA Democrats," but wrong (IMHO) to lump all the Democratic candidates with military experience in with that crowd. Golden may very well be a plant of the Establishment, whose progressive platform in just so much smoke, but four years as an infantry grunt does not in se make one a spook who will do the Establishment's bidding in Congress.
For what it's worth, I have developed an open-eyed admiration for the representative from Hawaii's 2nd district, Major Tulsi Gabbard, a combat veteran herself, for her consistent anti-war stance. (No need to remind me about Gabbard's meeting with India's PM Narendra Modi, her former opposition to same-sex marriage, or that she's National Guard and not Regular Army).
Credit the Greens, Please?
As I've hinted in some online conversations, start counting the days until Democrats, having resisted RCV for all these years, start touting it as if it's their own idea. Given that certain progressive Democrats have been tossing around the phrase "Green New Deal" as if they coined it, I estimate they'll be pushing it by Election Day 2020.
Perhaps Ms. Bee will revisit her segment from 2016, about elections in Maine. Perhaps she'll even say, "Oh, look, it turned out there was a solution to a [insert unpleasant epithet here] winning public office with 37% of the vote! Ranked Choice Voting totally rocks, guys!" But I'm not holding my breath.
The San Francisco Experience
California's governor-elect, Democrat Gavin Newsom, certainly has some direct experience with RCV from when he was elected mayor of San Francisco. At the time, he was an enthusiastic proponent, speaking of how it led to less rancor among candidates and calls to "rank me first and [this other candidate] second." Perhaps he'll push for an amendment to California's constitution to sanction RCV statewide.
In San Francisco's city-county elections, voters rank only three candidates per race, no matter how many there are on the ballot. However, there may be several rounds of counting as losing candidates' second- and third-choice votes are distributed. This year, The City held a special election to replace Mayor Ed Lee, who died last December; the top candidate, Board of Supervisors President London Breed, had only about 36% of the first-choice votes, but won a majority after the ninth round of counting. Candidates Jane Kim and Mark Leno had formed an alliance to outflank Breed, and the counting reflects that: More than 47,000 of third-place finisher Kim's second-choice votes went to Leno, and about 13,000 to Breed, enough to put Breed over the top.