Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grab Bag

I feel as if I blinked, and missed half of December and the entire month of January. I have a good excuse though: I quit my job, moved over 3,100 miles, and got married in that time. (It sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually is; we'd been planning all this for close to six months.) Anyway, as I dig out from under the mountain that is life, here are some stories I wish I had the time to write more in-depth about:

  • Via Ezra Klein, Lawrence Lessig's powerful presentation on the damaging influence of money on politics. It's close to an hour in length, but it is absolutely worth watching.
  • Via Daily Kos, don't try to spin it, according to Public Policy Polling, Fox is the most trusted news agency. About 2/3rds of McCain voters/Republicans/conservatives trust Fox and no one else, whereas Obama voters/Democrats/liberals are split: half of them trust no one, a quarter trust everyone except Fox, and a quarter trust everyone including Fox. If I were a national news agency executive, I see opportunities at both ends of that spectrum.
  • From Ballot Access News, Alaska is considering a new way to deal with independents and primaries. In a world full of cumbersome work-arounds to plurality voting, it's better than most; but to really fix the problem, you've got to get rid of plurality!
  • Meanwhile, California is fiddling with primaries too. Like I said, a world of work-arounds...
  • Portland, Maine is recommending IRV. I blame Vermont for spreading this bad idea eastward. It doesn't even look like they considered anything besides plurality and IRV.
  • Finally, the Green party is using a collaborative process to modify their party platform. That's great, and I've already made a comment regarding the parties foolish support for IRV, when they'd be much better served by score or approval voting.

That's everything from the last week that I'd wished I had time to do a full analysis of.

1 comment:

  1. Dale, I saw where a DFL ward in Minneapolis had passed a resolution endorsing IRV for state and local elections.

    Does anyone have an idea on how you would tally the votes, in real life, in US elections, and I guess in this case, MN elections?

    I am very curious to see if anyone has made a serious answer to the practical question.

    DFL: Rybak wins favor at Beltrami County precinct caucuses

    "Bemidji Ward 5 also passed a resolution calling on the use of instant runoff voting in state and local elections. The system allows voters to rank candidates, so if no majority winner is declared, a voter’s second choice is added to the mix until a majority winner is declared."