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San Bernardino Sun Carries Commentary from Seven Readers on California’s Top-two System

The Sun, San Bernardino’s daily newspaper, invited readers to comment on California’s top-two system. It then published the comments of seven individuals. See them here.

13 Responses

  1. Jim Riley

    Richard Winger and C.T.Weber can not be considered ordinary readers of a San Bernardino newspaper.

    Reader John Dalrymple says that voters are too overwhelmed by the number of candidates. But what would happen under IRV when voters would be expected to rank the candidates in multiple races?

    California has elected its county supervisors for over a century in a system in which all candidates are on the primary ballot, and then two advance to the general election (except if one receives a majority).

    And the segregated partisan system would not necessarily have guaranteed that a candidate indicted of weapons trafficking would be filtered out. Derek Cressman might not have run in a partisan Democratic primary. Dan Schnur is quite unlikely to have run as a petitioning independent.

    That would have left Alex Padilla and Leland Yee, both term-limited legislators, looking for a new job. So the only way that a filter works is if multiple Democrats jump into an open race, and the indictment occurs before the campaign occurs in earnest.

    • Richard Winger

      In the internet age, the concept that a person must live in the city in which a newspaper is published is obsolete. All newspapers with an internet presence have readers all over the nation, and beyond.

      Jim, your description of California non-partisan elections is not accurate. In California non-partisan elections, the first round is the election and in most non-partisan elections in California, there is never any run-off. In a minority of the non-partisan elections, there is a run-off if no one got 50%. That is different from California’s congressional and state partisan elections, in which the election itself is in November and no one can be elected in advance of November.

      And I disagree with your comment that Dan Schnur would not have run as an independent under the semi-closed primary system. He had the money to complete the independent candidate petition. He would have been far better off under the old system. He would have had “independent” as his label, instead of “no party preference.” He would have had 5 more months to campaign. And he could have won with a plurality in November.

      • Jim Riley

        In non-partisan elections conducted under state law, including county offices (except in the unique city&county) are elected by a majority.

        The election procedures for chartered cities varies, but most large cities provide for a runoff. Only one of the 10 largest cites in California does not have a runoff. The exception is Anaheim, which is 10th largest. San Diego only holds runoff for mayor and city attorney.

        You are being disingenuous if you are counting an election for an irrigation district which does not have a runoff provision, as equivalent to Bakersfield or Sacramento, or counting the city council elections in San Diego as outnumbering the number of mayors.

        Your use of “election itself” is wordplay. You worked at an election two weeks ago, and it wasn’t because part of the ballot contained the superintendent of public instruction race.

        When was the last independent candidate for non-district state office at a general election under the old segregated partisan primary system? I really doubt that Dan Schnur would have run as a petition candidate under the old system.

        SOS should really be a true non-partisan office. It should be embarrassing that Alex Padilla said that people should vote for him so that he and Diane Feinstein can work to increase the minimum wage.

        • Richard Winger

          California has 481 cities.

          Your state, Texas, doesn’t have elections for Secretary of State.

          • Jim Riley

            482, actually. Did you count Jurupa Valley?

            The median size is 28,976. Smaller cities often don’t have an elected mayor, or city council districts, such that a majority is not well defined.

            When San Francisco elected the members of its city council equivalent at large, there was no majority requirement. It was only after switching to district elections, that a majority requirement was added.

            And even a smaller city has an elected mayor, it is usually irrelevant whether there is a majority requirement, since the winner will be unopposed, or win easily.

            The 10 largest cities, 9 of which have majority elections for mayor, have over 30% of the population.

            Of 58 counties, all have majority elections, and all voters in the state.

  2. I have not read the article referenced in this post but I am alarmed that FairVote.org is promoting a “Top Four” voting system.

    Any singe-winner system, including a top four with a single-winner, will perpetuate a two-party political system.

    The California Super-state Parliament is pleased to announce a write-in campaign for a State “Shadow Cabinet”, and seven-member at-large will be conducted under an innovative pure proportional representation (PR) election system.

    Are you tired of the division and conflict created by plurality single-winner district elections?

    Try unity and teamwork under the most advanced voting system known; Pure proportional representation (PR), ranked choice voting (RCV), Hagnebach-Bischoff method in multi-winner districts of two or more.

    The 9th USA Parliament has been using PR for 19 consecutive years, Harry Browne [Libertarian] was our #1 choice of 125 consecutively ranked names in the First USA Parliament Election of 1995.

    It works great!
    http://www.usparliament.org

  3. I wrote; “…“Shadow Cabinet”, and seven-member at-large [election]”

    To clarify, the election is currently schedules to run between August 10th and end on September 10th.

    The rules are easily improved by our members votes and the main rule #3 is for guiding the “Phase Two” of the “Coalition of Seven”.

    See the elected rules here:
    http://www.usparliament.org/ss11-rules.php

  4. Demo Rep

    Tyrants are on the march – see Ukraine and Iraq.

    —-
    NO primaries.
    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

  5. Demo Rep

    http://www.sbsun.com/opinion/20140606/question-of-the-week-is-californias-top-two-primary-system-working

    had the opinion story — 6 June 2014
    —-
    The CRISIS is NOW – due to the top 2 and IRV math morons on the march in various States.
    Result – even worse powermadness monarchy / tyrant stuff in chief executives — Prezs, Guvs, Mayors.

    EMERGENCY simple P.R. remedy (pending head to head math) —

    Candidates rank order the other candidates in all districts.
    Each voter votes for 1 candidate.
    The top [5] [at least] candidates in each district get elected.
    The votes for losers are moved to the elected candidate highest on the loser’s rank order list.
    Example- 100 Votes. Elect 5.
    A 20 Elected
    B 18 Elected
    C 15 + 9 = 24 Elected
    D 13 + 8 = 21 Elected
    E 10 + 7 = 17 Elected
    X 9 – 9 = 0 Loses, Votes to C
    Y 8 – 8 = 0 Loses, Votes to D
    Z 7 – 7 = 0 Loses, Votes to E
    Total 100

    Voting powers = the final votes received — 20, 18, 24, 21, 17 in example.
    Coalition groups will obviously rank each other highest.

    • I agree.

      However, had candidate C received 15, #1 tics, and 9, #2 tics, for a total of 24 tics, then there would be no need for a single-transfer (STV) of votes since 24 total tics was greater than all other combinations ranked below candidate C.

      Under the Sainte-Lague parliament seat distribution system, the single-transferrable vote (STV) is not needed and the STV system wastes time.

      A calibration system also can be used which also is quicker than STV, and which also gives the same results faster (if you’re good at calibrating).

      In your example above, X, Y and Z all received votes (and lower rankings too), and yet the order in which those rankings counted as they were single-transferred to candidates C, D and E, are the same whether they were already counted as additional tics first cast for C, D & E or whether they were later single-transferred.

      The results were the same by counting the total tics that they are for single-transferring the tics in later rounds.

      It’s rather difficult explaing all this through typing but what I’m writing is that STV was redundant in that example because the same results are obtained by me, simply by adding the total number of tics.

      Either way, we all came up with the same answer that you did, Demo Rep.

      • To add to that, by using consecutively ranked numerals, the chances of ties are less, and the voter can direct their vote to whom the votes for eliminated names will receive such lower rankings.

        Without consecutive rankings, how can you tell to which candidate the next preferred ranking will apply?

        After reading your example, I’m not positive that Demo Rep is actually requiring the voter to use consecutive ranked numbers and it appears each voter is asked to mark the ballot with Xs or checks. There is no indication that the voter can rank multiple names in the imaginary election’s guidelines.

        • Demo Rep

          As part of the EMERGENCY stuff, the CANDIDATES would be making rank order lists of the other candidates.

          The various legislative bodies, being UN-representative, are under TOTAL attack by extremist monarchs / oligarchs — i.e. Prezs, Guvs, Mayors and their top robot hacks.

          — along with the brain dead math morons in the media. See the very recent Pew report about Donkeys vs. Elephants.

  6. Demo Rep

    1. Also in the above 100 example — there will be polls.

    Lower poll folks in the same party may tell the voters to vote for a higher person in the same party.

    2. More complex P.R. math has —
    Party Seats = Party Votes x Total Seats / Total Votes — pending head to head math.

    3. IF ballot access is *mildly* difficult, then perhaps ALL legislative candidates could be elected — using proxy agents/representatives in legislative bodies to vote on stuff.
    i.e. smaller groups having an agent to give out written speeches for the records and to cast votes.

    4. The CRISIS is NOW — due to the UN-representative legislative bodies in the U.S.A. – Congress, State legislatures, local bodies.

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