There are weak arguments against majority rule, but common sense always seems to win. We claim to be a democratic society, and as such it is reasonable that issues are settled by a majority vote. It is common for governing bodies, like a board of directors to include odd numbers of members, to assure majority vote and avoid deadlock.

Founders of our great nation understood this concept. The outcome is that our Constitution provides for three branches of government: legislative, judicial and administrative. That should have assured deadlock doesn’t occur. But it hasn’t and we now have yet another politically initiated government shutdown in deadlock.

The founders didn’t consider that our election process at all levels would degenerate into the plurality system for voting, commonly called “first past the post,” as if it were a foot race. The omission by the founders to assure election by a majority has, as predicted brought us a duopoly national government of two powerful political parties, the Democrats and Republicans.

Until we recognize that with duopoly government, we cannot avoid deadlock, and we will continue to have dysfunctional government. Understanding well that third-party candidates were being shut out of the process, voters in Maine have worked for over a decade to end the plurality system. Their 2016 citizen initiative to enact a law requiring election by majority — ranked-choice voting — was approve by more than 52 percent. The state Legislature, in opposition, voted in 2017 to overturn the majority-rule law. Voters then, by well over 50 percent, vetoed the legislators’ vote and restored election by the majority.

Choice in voting ends having one or the other of the most powerful political party candidates guaranteed to win by “first past the post.” So can you guess why ex=-Gov. Paul LePage now wants to end choice in voting?

Jim Chiddix

Waterville

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.