March 6, 2010

FairVote's BLAME GAME. The Playbook:

 The defeat of IRV [in Burlington] stems from a simple fact: the only candidate ever to win with IRV in Burlington is current mayor Bob Kiss, who won two hotly contested races for mayor in 2006 and 2009. In a city with three major parties, all with roughly comparable support, those victories left a majority wishing someone else had won. With new controversies in the Kiss administration in the past year, it was clear that in a referendum on the mayor, he would lose badly. Read more:

The rest is the playbook the mayor was following in the VPR interview:
Despite winning in five of the city’s seven wards, the use of instant runoff voting (IRV) for mayor was repealed this week by a margin of less than 4% in Vermont’s largest city of Burlington. It’s a disappointment, particularly with a growing appreciation in Vermont for IRV.
In fact, the voter distribution in 2010 was identical to the distribution in 2005 when the IRV experiment was approved by voters (42% North End). After two IRV mayoral elections, citywide voter approval dropped dramatically and became voter disapproval. IRV was repealed by 52% of the voters citywide in a direct election.

As for the growing appreciation in Vermont, Vermont This Week, Mar 5 2010, called it "the kiss of death." chuckle, chuckle.... Watch for Deb Markowitz to drop this from her campaign platform like a hot potato! Dem SoS in Aspen is up for re-election, where voters ditched IRV in an advisory vote, and she's not recommending IRV to anybody!


Dale Sheldon said...

Voters know--maybe not explicitly, but they know--when there was a spoiler in an election. And when that happens, voters become confused, angry, and resentful of the voting system, and try to change it.

Kiss was a spoiler, and now the voters have changed the system.

The fact that between 5% and 15% of IRV elections (with three viable candidates) will have spoilers explains why IRV often doesn't last long.

But plurality isn't any better.

The next step, Burlington, is approval voting.

dale tillotson said...

I for one have questioned Dem Markowitz on the issue and she could not explain the system. So i wonder how she can support it.
Keep asking her.

Joyce McCloy said...

Fair Vote admits in their 2005 "990filing" that they want to avoid having people ask questions about IRV. They also admit this is needed in order to get people to support something they don't understand.

From page 41 of Fair Vote's 2005 "990" (filing to the IRS by non-profits):

#3 "Making a strong case and neutralizing any opposition: By getting out early with the benefits of IRV, we headed off criticism of the system that would have accumulated naturally in a vacuum. The landslide win is a testament to this strategy, as history shows voters who don't understand a measure generally vote against it."

(You can go to, register for free, type in Fair Vote in search box, and then when Fair Vote comes up, you can find their 2005 990 and find the exact quote.)

See, for FairVote, ignorance is bliss.

And if FV hadn't come to my state back in 2004/2005 and nearly killed our paper ballot bill (so they could parasitize it with IRV requirements) then I wouldn't have been compelled to study the problems with IRV.

Many e-voting activists don't worry about IRV because it just isn't on their radar (yet).