In late January, I was shocked to see someone as (refreshingly) bland as Howard Schultz could be accused of “reckless idiocy” by The New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg. He is being charged with splitting the anti-Trump vote should he run for president as an independent, which is in all truth a fair assessment.
However, as Goldberg admits, “America’s two-party system, unfortunate as it is, is an inevitable result of the winner-take-all nature of our elections.” Because of this two-party system, Schultz would be “reckless” to draw votes away from Trump’s opponent. Goldberg goes on to say that ranked choice voting (along with other measures) “could potentially break the two-party stranglehold on our politics” (emphasis added).
Isn’t it time the people, for whom the Constitution and government officials exist, to stop this madness? Say what you want about Schultz (e.g. he’s narcissistic, out-of-touch, elitist), but since when should the American public feel terror over the freedom of an individual to run for public office? Such sentiment screams of a failure in our current electoral system on a national level.
Thankfully, ranked choice voting serves as a promising solution. Already we’ve seen very successful elections held in Minneapolis and St. Paul using RCV, and Maine has successfully used it at the state level in federal elections (as Goldberg points out in her column).
RCV allows individuals the right to voice their preferences in elections to the fullest by ranking candidates from most to least desired. Votes are distributed in a way that maximizes voter preferences until a single candidate holds a true majority of the votes. There are no more “spoilers” or “vote-splitting” with RCV.
The time is now to end the stranglehold by the Democratic and Republican parties. I am calling on all Minnesotans to advocate for RCV’s expansion across the state and one day across the country.