Thursday, November 09, 2006

Democracy wins HUGE victory!

Well, its huge for some 1,5 million Americans. There were several ballot initiatives in many states and municipalities across the U.S. on Tuesday. This fact alone gives evidence to democracy in action despite what many believe to be a corrupted, two-party, corporate bought electoral system.

When analyzing the various initiatives and the results, coupled with the congressional outcome, its hard to argue that core values in the U.S. are not moving to the left. I had come across another site (which I hope to find for you) that reported the percentages. In nearly every case, those progressive issues which failed; ie., marijuana legalization lost by very small margins. The inverse is true of the bans on same sex marriage. I would argue that the ban on same sex marriage is not representative of increasing intolerance of gays but an attempt to hold on to tradition.

The most important victory for democracy was however the ballot initiatives in four municipalities (representing some 1,5 million people) which passed on Tuesday.

IRV and Ranked Voting: Undefeated in 2006
Big wins in Oakland, Davis, Minneapolis,Pierce County

IRV and ranked choice voting advocates celebrated on November 7th with wins of 68%-32% in Oakland (CA) and 65%-35% in Minneapolis (MN) and, with ballots still to be counted likely to increase the margins slightly, 54%-46% in Davis (CA) and 53% to 47% in Pierce County (WA).

The wins in Davis and Minneapolis marked the first ballot measure wins for choice voting, the proportional voting version of IRV, in a half-century. Stay tuned for a full FairVote report on the victories and state and congressional elections that underscore the value of IRV in our politics.

Since instant runoff voting's ground-breaking win in March 2002 in San Francisco, it has been on the ballot in eight cities and counties. The result? 8-0.