Despite her habit of taking gratuitous swipes at third parties and third-party voters, I like watching Samantha Bee and her 30-minute soapbox Full Frontal. She also has a problem with independent candidates and voters. Sam Be like, "Two parties and two candidates max, dammit! Americans aren't smart enough for more than two! If Kang is demonstrably less evil and stupid than Kodos, then vote for Kang!"
This morning, reflecting on this Wednesday's broadcast, I have three wishes:
By now, Wednesday's installment of Full Frontal is already old news, but not as old as the thoroughly debunked "spoiler" argument. So I'm going to respond to the LePage segment with a bit of a spoiler here:
The end of the segment illustrates how independent candidates supposedly peeled votes away from the Democratic nominees in both 2010 and 2014, enabling LePage to be elected with less than a majority both times.
There were three such independents in 2010, the Year of the Tea Party Insurgency. One of them, Eliot Cutler, came close to winning, with Democrat Libby Mitchell polling at a dismal 19%. If anything, Mitchell spoiled the race for Cutler. Cutler tried again in 2014, but managed only 8.4%.
Sam, why do you think independents were queuing up to run for governor in 2010? Maybe because neither major party was doing jack to help the working people of Maine? Was Mitchell really the best candidate that Maine's Democratic Party could offer that year? Was Mike Michaud really the best available in 2014? Were all the independent candidates disgruntled lefties, or was at least one of them a conservative appalled at the prospect of LePage getting elected? Can you guarantee that all of Cutler's 51,518 voters have voted for Democrat Michaud in 2014, landing Michaud in the mansion instead of Governor Worldwide Embarrassment?
Also, Sam, you completely ignored Maine's Ranked Choice Voting referendum on the ballot this year, which seeks specifically to negate any "spoiler" issues. Here is the ballot language as quoted in Ballotpedia:
Do you want to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates in elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative, and to have ballots counted at the state level in multiple rounds in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority?
My only beef with the referendum is that it does not include President and Vice President. Apart from that, it's a long overdue, people-powered solution for a state where independents and the Green Party have a strong presence. As a longtime Green, I am biased toward Instant Runoff Voting, but I will link you to arguments both in favor of the referendum and opposed to it.
The old expression "As Maine goes, so goes the nation" may not be true, but I'm hopeful that Maine will pass Ranked Choice, that it will produce a governor in 2018 more reflective of the state's population, and that other states will follow suit.
Also, agreeing with what Bee said in her first segment Wednesday night, I'm hopeful that she will be able to take a nice, long break from jokes about presidential politics after this year's bizarre-reality-TV election is finally in the can.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
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