One dearly hopes Howard Schultz — a good man, for sure — sees the light and stands down from his disastrous idea to become the next Ralph Nader / Jill Stein / Ross Perot. A super friendly Starbucks boycott until he does might help him see that light — and save us $5 a day we can put toward winning in 2020.
I’m not suggesting you go without coffee; just suggesting you make it at home and pour into one of these.
That said, I’ve long advocated Ranked-Choice or Instant-Runoff voting. You’d vote for Howard Schultz or Nader — or your high school sweetheart — but specify a second choice just in case your first didn’t win.
It would be so healthy for democracy.
One of you recently wrote me with an interesting twist on that notion.
Richard S.: “I love the idea of Ranked-Choice Voting, but may I suggest a variation? Everyone votes for whomever they choose. After the votes are tabulated, until someone has more than 50% of the votes, we go in reverse order of ‘winning’ and allow the candidates who didn’t make it to allocate all their votes to any candidate above them. This preserves the very nature of a representative democracy, in which by voting you’re allowing someone else to make choices on your behalf; and would allow all kinds of third party votes to be not thrown away. Candidates could even — optionally — let people know in advance where they’d allocate their votes, should they not win, so voters could take that into account as well. This system would also encourage coalition building between the candidates. Best of all, no changes are necessary at the polls. Could that work?”
One worry: in a close race, where the leader got (say) 48% of the vote, this would give the least popular candidate — who got just (say) 2.1% — more sway over who wins than the second most popular candidate, who might have gotten 20% or 30% of the vote.
So I think I’d stick with the current proposals, where each voter specifies a second choice.
But what say my estimable readers?