Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Instead of Spoilers

Last night on Stossel, the show’s eponymous host reminded his panel that Ann Coulter wanted to drown folks who vote for Libertarian candidates in close races where the Republican victory could be hurt. Deroy Murdock came down on Coulter’s side, saying that Libertarian votes did sometimes harm Republican candidates, as just happened, he said, in Virginia.

Stossel wonders if that’s true; there are reasons to suspect that Libertarian “third party” candidates draw also from Democrats and mostly from independent voters — and that many of the latter wouldn’t have voted at all.

But Stossel and his panelists did not bring up a simple solution to the whole problem, something I wrote about last year in my column “In Defense of Spoilers.” The Libertarian Party seems here to stay. And if Republicans want to do something about it, they could “open up the electoral system”:

They should work with open-minded, fair-play Democrats and end first-past-the-post elections in the United States. There are several ways to go: ranked voting methods, from Instant Runoff Voting to proportional representation, ending the election of Representatives from gerrymandered districts, electing them, instead, “at large.”

Ranked Choice Voting, especially, has advantages. We vote our preferences, and our preferences are counted.

If you prefer the Libertarian over the Republican, and the Republican over the Democrat, you vote that way, and your preference for “best” doesn’t destroy your support for “the good” or the possibly “good enough.”

Democracy doesn’t need to rest on the insane rubric of “the best is the enemy of the good.”

So, Republican majority, change it. And stop complaining.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rick says:

    It’s a tough choice. You work with the party that begins closest to where you want to be, so what it’s really all about is activism.

    OT: Mish has a great piece on where we are likely headed and why. While Republicans understand the economic realities of where we are best, their means of getting there are totally out of whack because they want to manipulate and control the globe…..and they’re willing to make war to see it through. Unfortunately, Obama has been consumed by the war machine in such a way that because of economic circumstances, he is unwilling to strive for peace because of what it will do to the economy and has a sad ignorance of the consequences.

    There is also a great piece on the violence breaking out in Brussells because of austerity. As Mish points out, there is no austerity anywhere to be found in Europe. Their budgets have been higher and higher year after year. But the lunatic Keynesian economics that consume corrupt politicians(because it allows them to print money at will) nothing is affordable so the broke, hungry peasants burn stuff up.

  2. Rick says:

    Another OT:

    A great article on bank corruption with a whistleblower by Matt Taibbi:

  3. Steve says:

    Choice ranking. I do like the idea of my second choice candidate receiving my vote if my first choice is eliminated.

    It seems to me that choice ranking is combining run-off elections for a single seat and apportionment when a pool of candidates runs for multiple seats.

    This needs clarification to be popular.

  4. LindaLiberty says:

    Hear Hear. My husband and I are both Libertarians but we always have this argument at vote time. I think I am throwing away my vote because I know the Libertarian won’t win and my husband thinks by voting Libertarian it is sending a message to both parties. Instant Runoff Voting is the perfect solution. Now what are the chances that it will ever be implemented? Extremely low. But it is at least nice to hear people talking about it.

  5. 2WarAbnVet says:

    The RINO senate candidate in my state (NC) was not my first choice , but when I entered the voting booth, I remembered two things:
    1) the worst Republican is still better for the nation than the best Democrat.
    2) any vote for an independent is a vote that helps the Democrat

  6. A statewide initiative has just been launched in Maine for instant-runoff voting for statewide state office.

  7. Rose says:

    Others are taking note of this idea. Here was a piece about instant runoff voting and how it would have meant two more Republicans Senators right now

  8. Pat says:

    Electing ‘at large’ candidates seems to make a bad situation worse.
    In states with more than one House member, gerrymandering can be modified in other ways, such as drawing district lines that put an entire town or borough in a single district.
    Look at places like California or New York. In California, the coast outvotes the inland counties. How many ‘red’ counties are there whose constituents don’t have their interests counted in statewide elections?
    In New York upstate is dwarfed by the population around NYC.
    Not sure how you would implement at large voting but doesn’t it stand to reason that a single party would win all the seats for that state?

  9. Drik says:

    Ranked choice would mean that the parties could no longer scam the public.
    Means no chance of it getting approved, since it makes parties weaker.
    In our country’s history, only Washington and Lincoln have intentionally lessened federal political power.
    We have equivalents of neither in positions of power now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2019 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top