Sunday, September 26, 2004

American Candidate shows need for instant runoff voting with 3-person race

American Candidate is on tonight on Showtime, and anyone in the U.S. is eligibile to vote for either Lisa Witter, a progressive Democrat, Park Gillespie, a conservative Republican, or Malia Lazu, a progressive independent. I'm supporting Malia (on the board of the Center for Voting and Democracy), but this really shows the need for a smarter electoral system.

Lisa is backed by most of the large, national progressive organizations (, Campaign for American's Future and other clients of Fenton Communications that is the largest public interest PR firm in the country.

The fear is that progressives will split the vote between Malia and Lisa, allowing the conservative Park to get a pass into the final round. There are echoes of the presidential campaign, which the Witter allies are bringing up.

If we used instant runoff voting, we wouldn't have this problem.

Although it doesn't really apply in this case, upon further reflection, since the show is essentially holding a runoff between the top two vote getters in the season finale, and only the last place finisher will get eliminated tonight.

If only we held a runoff election for president in any state where no candidate earned a majority of the vote.

Anyway, the episode is on tonight. Check it out if you can.

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