Ever hear the phrase, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation”? People of Maine may not be that much smarter than the rest of the nation, but once again, they have shown an understanding of the problem we as a nation are faced with these days. That is, divisiveness of people in this country.

Divisiveness has festered because we cling to the two-party political system of government. One outcome of this divisiveness is that Republicans have their president in the White House, Donald Trump, and the Democrats don’t have a president. The Republican’s president has made it clear he does not represent Democrats. Democrats can’t elect judges he likes. Government has devolved into “us against them” mainly because of one simple defect in the way we elect our representatives, including the president. That defect is that a candidate can be elected to office by winning fewer than half the votes cast in an election. Over time, when leaders are elected by less than a majority vote, voters sort themselves out into one or the other team and winning at any cost becomes the norm. That’s where we are now.

So what did Mainers do about this? They decided to begin the process of requiring that a candidate can only be elected if that candidate has won a majority of the votes. It is a little too early to predict the full impact of this momentous change, but one possibility is that divisiveness will fade, civility will return, and those who are elected will represent all people.

The good news is that people in other states are considering electing representatives using Maine’s ranked-choice voting method.

Jim Chiddix


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