Feeling the heat, Olague kills RCV repeal for now

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Sup. Christina Olague delayed her closely watched vote on repealing ranked choice voting.

After reviving a controversial effort to repeal the city's ranked-choice voting (RCV) system and paying a political price for her shifting stands on the issue, Sup. Christina Olague today made the motion to send all three competing reform proposals back to the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee, effectively killing efforts to place them on the November ballot.

“The public would benefit from more public discussion on the issue,” Olague said, adding that she doesn't think the measures should be on the crowded fall ballot competing with other important priorities.

Olague had been torn between supporting the desires of Mayor Ed Lee (who appointed her to the seat) and downtown interests to repeal RCV and those of her longtime allies in the progressive community who sought to defend it from total repeal – and she hadn't been returning calls or indicating where she now stood before today's Board of Supervisors meeting.

But after hearing more than 30 minutes of impassioned public comments on both sides of the issue, she made the motion to end the controversy for now, which was unanimously approved by the board. Olague also addressed the heat she felt indirectly, saying RCV “should not be a litmus test for whether someone is progressive” and “sadly, the discussion had degenerated to be about personalities.”

Her colleagues seemed happy to be done with this fight for now as well. Sup. Mark Farrell, who sponsored the measure to repeal RCV for all citywide offices, said it would be a “huge mistake” to have competing voting system measures on the fall ballot. Olague had previously offered an alternative to repeal RCV for just the mayor's race, like Farrell's measure using a September primary election and November runoff. Board President David Chiu responded to the RCV repeal effort by proposing another alternative, that one using RCV in the November election but having a December runoff between the top two mayoral finishers.

Chiu said he was happy to delay his proposal, saying, “I have thought the system we have is working quite well.”

Comments

That'll teach her to get uppity. You don't cross the sfbg!

Posted by Bob on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

Wait, I thought the SFBG had no influence. At least that's what all the trolls say. Which incidentally, is why they spend all their time writing here.

Truth is, she probably got an earful from her constituents and her potential volunteer base. The Guardian helped, because a lot of those folks read it, but it wasn't the only factor. And in the end, she listened. Isn't that what you're supposed to do in a representative democracy?

Posted by Greg on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

I don't think anybody has claimed that the SFBG doesn't have some influence in D5, and probably will for at least a few more months. In one post I called it their 'Alamo' and someone else likened it to defending Berlin in 1945.

And the truth is that most of her constituents aren't even aware of the current RCV debate. It hasn't been front page news and has dragged on for months. But she did most certainly hear from the RCV-Defender mailing list people who were asked to contact her and ask her why she is siding with the conservatives, since every other progressive was on the other side.

Partisan, negative campaigning...exactly the stuff that RCV people want to see go away.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

What some RCV people want to see go away, anyway.

But you may have a point. At least one more-progressive-than-thou commenter here wants it to go away, and he seems to want to turn every issue into a partisan, you're-either-for-us-or-a-fascist war.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 9:48 am

I just hope that when the District 10 situation plays out on a city wide level, and we get a Mayor whom 75% of the people did not vote for and whom came in 3rd in first place votes, that people remember that Progressives thought that RCV was really important thing to preserve.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

You lost, Troll. Get over it.

You must be really upset about the 31st district congressional race in a majority-minority, Democratic district with two conservative white Republicans in the runoff due to a Latino Democrat being "spoiled" by too many Republicans.

Or maybe that kind of stuff doesn't bother you.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

I don't live in the 31st district and we're not talking about a top two situation anyway. I live in a city where we have Supervisors that only 25% of the people voted for.

I bet that just the thought of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison must really creep you out.

But hey. You prevented the voters from having their say.

Congrats!

Posted by Troll on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

In 2002. I worked on that campaign. We were outspent (but only moderately). We won. 56%. Now the Chamber and its allies, realizing they underestimated the support for IRV the first time, want a redo. You can bet that they won't make the same mistake of outspending us by a mere 2-1 again.

But I want to respond to this other point you keep harping on -that we're not talking about a "top-two" situation. What then, pray tell, is a runoff???

A runoff where the top two finishers, regardless of party, compete in a second round, is the very DEFINITION of top-two! And you're going to have the exact same problems as top-two. You may not live in the 31st district, but that's exactly what you're going to get here if we go back to top-two runoffs.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 7:34 am

You're right..I associate 'top-two' with the recent California state changes. But historically that problem that you describe in CD31 just hasn't happened here in all the years of December run-offs. And when they do happen perhaps it is because one of the many similar candidates was not able to distinguish themselves as a true leader, at least enough to finish in the top 2. Note that Ed Lee, for whatever reason, had no problem getting the most first round votes to finish 1st. Yee, Chiu and the other Asian American candidates not withstanding. BTW, the UCSF study identified a number of completely Asian American 1-2-3 ballots but that is another problem with RCV for later.

Meanwhile we've already had a Supervisor that 75% of the people didn't even rank as highly as 3rd be declared the majority winner.

And RCV was already on a November ballot. 1996 Clinton-Dole. Lost by 13 points.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

Troll, please get your facts straight (and the courage to use your real name).

Proposition H on the November 1996 ballot was a proposal to change San Francisco's then at-large plurality elections to proportional representation. While the voter's experience would have been similar to RCV (you rank the candidates), Prop H was not the RCV San Francisco now has. (Frankly, that's why I prefer the phrase "instant runoff voting" and the initials IRV to RCV.)

Prop H lost because it was on the ballot with Proposition G, a competing measure to change the at-large plurality elections to districts with run-offs. (G passed by the same 13-point margin that defeated H.)

Voters were clearly unhappy with the at-large elections, and wanted a change. Had H been on the ballot without G, it probably would have won. But as San Francisco had previously used district elections (albeit in plurality elections, without run-offs), voters went with the devil they knew rather than with the devil they didn't.

Posted by Steve Chessin, President, Californians for Electoral Reform on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 12:08 am

When you said that I should get my facts straight I had hoped that you would be able to counter with something besides your opinion.

Maybe this will help explain:

Steve's opinion: "Proposition H on the November 1996 ballot was a proposal to change San Francisco's then at-large plurality elections to proportional representation."

Yet here is how Prop H was labeled on the voter information booklet: "Shall the Board of Supervisors Be Elected Using Preference Voting?"

http://sfpl4.sfpl.org/pdf/main/gic/elections/November5_1996short.pdf

See the difference between your opinion and FACT?

Here are some more examples of fact:

1) Ranked choice supporters speak up vigorously against the dangers of low turnout elections

2) The ballot measure that gave us RCV in 2002 was deliberately placed on a March ballot that everyone knew in advance would get a low turnout. It got 30%.

3) This year there was a chance to vindicate RCV on a larger turnout November Presidential Ballot. The RCV forces fought vigorously to prevent this from happening. Campos kept asking 'Why now?'

See? Finding facts isn't very difficult after all.

And as far as courage and using my real name...why? So that you can come after me personally instead of countering my argument? What difference does it make who I am. I happen to have a unique name and putting it in the SFBG is equivalent to posting my family's phone number and street address online.

Sorry, you'll just have to deal with the facts.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 6:31 am

I'm sorry for you, Troll, but your "facts" are wrong.

1. "Preference voting" was the term used in 1996 to describe what is also known as the Single Transferable Vote (STV), a proportional representation (PR) voting system. In fact, if you read the description of how the ballots would have been tabulated under Prop H (it's on page 173 of that link you posted), you'll see that it describes the STV algorithm, even if it doesn't use that phrase.

Also, proponents of Prop H pointed out that it was PR in the paid ballot arguments. For example:

"Now is the time for cities and states to explore some of these proportional options like preference voting." (Page 167, paid argument by Lani Guinier and the Center for Voting and Democracy, paid for by San Franciscans for Preference Voting.)

"I would like you to encourage you to give strong consideration to preference voting. I saw proportional representation at work in the South African elections two years ago, and I was impressed. [...] I believe San Francisco has an opportunity to reinvigorate a voting system that could serve as a model for the next century." (Page 167, paid argument by Jesse Jackson, National Rainbow Coalition Founder, paid for by San Franciscans for Preference Voting.)

"Preference voting (proportional representation) will empower Latino voters." (Page 168, paid argument by Dolores Huerta, co-founder and First Vice President, United Farm Workers, paid for by San Franciscans for Preference Voting.)

(See? Finding facts isn't very difficult after all.)

2. If you look the agenda for the May 7, 2001, Board of Supervisors agenda at

http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2437

you'll find this item:

49. 010590 [Instant Run Off Voting] Supervisors Leno, Ammiano
Resolution urging the Department of Elections and the Budget Analyst to provide pertinent information regarding the cost savings and other logistical specifics of instant run off voting to support the Board of Supervisors consideration of a charter amendment for the November 2001 ballot.

Question: Shall this Resolution be ADOPTED?

The minutes at

http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2832

show that it was adopted, 11-0. So the original intent was to have the amendment placed on the November 2001 ballot.

(See? Finding facts isn't very difficult after all.)

The agenda for the June 11, 2001, BoS meeting at

http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2442

references a communication "From San Francisco Bay Area Chapter National Lawyers Guild, submitting support to place instant runoff voting on the November ballot. (37)"

The agendas and minutes of the Rules Committee from that era do not appear to be online (some facts are hard to come by), but my contemporaneous notes show that the charter amendment was scheduled for a Rules Committee hearing Friday, June 22nd, 2001, and that if it didn't get out of committee on that date it would miss the deadline for the November 2001 ballot.

I gather that it didn't get out that day, but eventually did, because the agenda for the July 2, 2001 BoS meeting at

http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2445

has this:

Recommendations of the Rules Committee

18. 010856 [Charter Amendment - Elective Officials] Supervisor Gonzalez
Charter amendment (First Draft) to repeal the current Section 13.102 and add a new Section 13.102 to provide for the election of the Mayor, Sheriff, District Attorney, City Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, Public Defender, and members of the Board of Supervisors using a ranked-choice, or "instant run-off" ballot, to require that City voting systems be compatible with a ranked-choice system, and setting date and conditions for the implementation.
This item will be presented to the voters during the March 2002 elections.

Question: Shall this Charter Amendment be SUBMITTED?

The minutes at

http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2840

show that the item was continued (by a vote of 11-0) to the July 9, 2001, meeting, where it was finally ordered submitted to the voters (by a vote of 10-1).

(See? Finding facts isn't very difficult after all.)

The citizen-proponents of RCV wanted it on the November 2001 ballot; it was the machinations of one or more Supervisors that delayed it to March 2002.

3. As it "turned out", the voter turnout for the November 2001 election was only 29.62%. The voter turnout for the March 2002 election was 34.15%. (Where did you get the 30% figure?) See http://www.sfgov2.org/index.aspx?page=1670

So RCV was adopted at a higher-turnout election than the one its proponents originally targeted.

(See? Finding facts isn't very difficult after all.)

To paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan (or perhaps James Schlesinger), you're entitled to your own opinion, Troll, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

4. As for your lack of courage, I have no interest in going after you personally. I'd much rather counter your arguments, as I have. My name is not very common either(*), yet I'm not afraid someone is going to come after me.

(*) My grandfather's name was something like "Russelhessin", and when the immigration officials at Ellis Island told him that that was too long, that he could be Russell or he could be Chessin, he picked Chessin because he thought it sounded more American. Pick up any phone book and compare how many Russells you find to how many Chessins!

Posted by Steve Chessin, President, Californians for Electoral Reform on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 12:44 am

I mistyped the Jesse Jackson quote by including an extraneous "you". (It's hard to cut-and-paste from a scanned image!) The corrected quote is:

"I would like to encourage you to give strong consideration to preference voting. I saw proportional representation at work in the South African elections two years ago, and I was impressed. [...] I believe San Francisco has an opportunity to reinvigorate a voting system that could serve as a model for the next century." (Page 167, paid argument by Jesse Jackson, National Rainbow Coalition Founder, paid for by San Franciscans for Preference Voting.)

I apologize for the error.

Well done Steve Chessin. Thank you very much for taking the time to put this together.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 7:16 am

Steve, there is some really good software available online that allows you to edit PDFs. I suggest that you download the library's copy of the November 1996 ballot and edit the sole question that was asked of the voters:

Shall the Board of Supervisors be elected using preference voting?

Yes or No

And then, Steve, you can edit in Lani Guinier's opinion and the information that it was really STV, even though the phrase wasn't used. And throw in the relevant minutes from BOS meetings.

Because you are one of perhaps 30 people in the city who obsess over it at that level of detail.

But the voters WERE asked:

Shall the Board of Supervisors be elected using preference voting?

You keep saying that my facts are wrong for some reason. But the only thing that you could really quibble with was that I said that March 2002 got a 30% turnout when it was really 34% (although less than 32% voted on Prop A). BFD.

If IRV supporters really were concerned about low turnout elections they could have waited for the November (Gubernatorial) election with a 50% turnout. This year they criticized Farell/Elsbernd for not doing the same.

You continually question my courage so I feel justified in returning the Ad Hominem. I think you are stupid. It's nice to hear that you wouldn't use my home address and phone number to harass me and my family personally.

What about the other thousands of nuts who read this board, Einstein.

@lilli seems like a stable person to you?

Posted by Troll on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 8:06 am

having begun them. Troll, your point has seemed to be that the outcome of the 1996 ballot measure is somehow indicative that the IRV system we have today was rejected by the voters, and this is completely false and misleading. The measure failed in an election where a competing measure to move to district elections was voted on and passed. The measure you falsely portray had only the barest similarity to the present system and for you to claim otherwise, continually, loudly, abusively, speaks to the shallowness and intellectual bankruptcy of your perspective.

Here's the synopsis of the proposition from the ballot pamphlet. Not everybody reads the text of the laws (which used to appear in the back of the books but now follows immediately after paid arguments) but everybody who puts any consideration at all into the way they will vote reads the digest.

"... Supervisors [would] be elected using a system called preference voting. Instead of casting votes for each of the candidates the voter wanted elected, the voter would rank his or her choices for Supervisor in order of preferences. The number of votes needed to elect a Board member would be based on the total number of votes cast and the total number of Board seats up for election.
Under preference voting, each vote would be distributed among the voter's preferred candidates. First, the voter's entire vote would be given to his or her first-choice candidate.

If a voter's first-choice candidate received more votes than needed for election, then part of that voter's vote would be given to that voter's second-choice candidate. If any other candidate then had more votes than needed for election, part of the votes for that candidate would be given to the voters' next-choice candidates. If this process was completed and some Board seats were not filled, the candidate who received the fewest votes would be eliminated. Votes cast for the eliminated candidates would be given to the voters' next-choice candidates. This two-step redistribution and elimination process would be repeated until all the Board seats were filled.

The same preference ballots will be used to elect the Board President. Candidates with the fewest votes would be eliminated, and their votes redistributed until only on candidate remained."

Why not just pack it in, Troll?

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 8:31 am

Troll, I don't live in fear. I'm sorry that you seem to do so. I can't imagine what it must be like to be afraid all the time.

It's okay by me if you think I'm stupid. You must realize by now that I have no respect for your opinion. (I know you have no respect for mine.)

The only reason I engage with you is to make sure that others who might be swayed by your selective presentation of "facts" have access to all of them.

Here's some more evidence that folks knew "preference voting" meant proportional representation:

1. This is from a Chronicle article by John King from the issue of Tuesday, July 23, 1996, about the competing measures the Supervisors had just voted to put on the ballot:

"Proportional representation is a rarity in the United States, with the best-known example being the Academy Awards balloting. According to supporters, the number of votes needed to be elected as a supervisor would drop to about 30,000 from the current 80,000. The reason: Once a candidate passes the threshold, the remainder of the ballots with that person as a top choice would then be divvied up, with the second choices receiving extra votes.

The intricacy of the system was enough to scare off Supervisor Sue Bierman, the lone opponent to putting proportional representation on the ballot."

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/District-Election-Plan-Goes-on-S-F...

(See paragraphs 6 and 7.)

2. This letter to the editor, published in the Saturday, October 26, 1996 issue:

PREFERENCE VOTING

Editor -- I have administered several preference voting elections here in Eugene in order to demonstrate how it works. Voters may rank candidates in order of preference. Even children participated. Never once did we have a spoiled ballot nor did any of the participants express dislike of preference voting. Indeed, voters were quick to see how preference voting gave them more choice. This is due to the ability to vote one's conscience without worry that your vote will be wasted.

Proposition H in San Francisco proposes that the Board of Supervisors be elected by preference voting. There are many reasons to support Prop H and the best is that it transforms the right to vote into the right to a fair share of political representation (proportional representation); symbolic democracy to substantive democracy.

KEVIN HORNBUCKLE
City Council member Eugene, Ore.

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/LETTERS-TO-THE-EDITOR-2961713.php

You seem to think that the only thing the voters saw was the question on the ballot. I guess you have as low an opinion of the average voter as you do of me.

District elections w/runoffs were a progressive advance even though I voted for both G and H.

IRV is a screwdriver intended for use on partisan screws, and is not functioning very well, from a progressive perspective, in driving nonpartisan nails.

In any event, downtown set the agenda and commanded our attention away from who knows what as we worked ourselves into apoplexy over IRV.

Will we ever set the agenda again? Not with supervisors elected by IRV we won't.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 6:50 am

marcos, for you, "progressive" IS partisan, in the old 1930s sense.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 9:50 am

Progressive is less so partisan these days than it is coopted.

No, I was referring to the nature of elections per California law and constitution, that local elections are nonpartisan while state (except for superintendent of public instruction) and national elections are all partisan.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 10:02 am

Local elections are nonpartisan in that R or D or G or whatever don't appear on the ballot. However, San Francisco elections tend to be very informally partisan indeed.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 10:11 am

"Will we ever set the agenda again?"

That's what I mean by "partisan": That there's an easily identifiable Us and Them, and that any electoral scheme from, district elections to IRV, isn't about anything about putting more of Us in power.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 10:20 am

So it is not a partisan problem when conservative and corporate interests set the agenda, but it is a partisan problem when anyone with different ideas tries to set the agenda?

Posted by marcos on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 10:56 am

I never said there wasn't a partisan problem; you did.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

of voters in '96.

Here's a salient excerpt of the text of "H" which makes it clear that is most certainly was *not* the IRV (yes, not "rank") system we now have:

"... Supervisors [would] be elected using a system called preference voting. Instead of casting votes for each of the candidates the voter wanted elected, the voter would rank his or her choices for Supervisor in order of preferences. The number of votes needed to elect a Board member would be based on the total number of votes cast and the total number of Board seats up for election.
Under preference voting, each vote would be distributed among the voter's preferred candidates. First, the voter's entire vote would be given to his or her first-choice candidate.

If a voter's first-choice candidate received more votes than needed for electionm, then part of that voter's vote would be given to that voter's second-choice candidate. If any other candidate then had more votes than needed for election, part of the votes for that candidate would be given to the voters' next-choice candidates. If this process was completed and some Board seats were not filled, the candidate who received the fewest votes would be eliminated. Votes cast for the eliminated candidates would be given to the voters' next-choice candidates. This two-step redistribution and elimination process would be repeated until all the Board seats were filled.

The same preference ballots will be used to elect the Board President. Candidates with the fewest votes would be eliminated, and their votes redistributed until only on candidate remained."

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 7:57 am

You paint this picture like it's a bad thing when somebody who didn't have the most first-choice votes doesn't win. I don't have an opinion on Quan one way or another, but the fact that their election system was able to capture the "we'll take any of these 4 people over Perata" sentiment and translate that into a result is something to be proud of.

Posted by diabolical_mdog on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

Voting on the basis of what you don't want is negativism. You're supposed to vote FOR something.

More people wanted Perata as mayor than Quan, and that information was lost.

As it happensm Quan has been a disaster, but that's not really even the point.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

I more people had wanted Perata -- then PERATA WOULD HAVE WON. People selected Perata as their third choice -- or not at all -- because they *didn't* want him. So freakin' simple.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

I defy anyone to read that more than once without their head exploding.

Posted by Troll on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 9:23 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 10:31 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

It makes perfect sense. The whole point of IRV/RCV is that you can vote tepidly for people who aren't your first choice but who you can live with, and which are better than some other candidates who are completely repellent to you.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 10:13 am

In Oakland's mayor race with three candidates, IRV performed as advertised.

But in San Francisco's multi-candidate races, the exhausted ballot phenomenon trumps the ideological vote transfer phenomenon in most every case. Thus, as many voters are disenfranchised via IRV as are empowered, it ends up as more or less a wash.

All we see reliably in San Francisco is Asian surname transfer which gives electoral affirmative action to one ethnic group.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 10:25 am

The solution to the exhausted ballot phenomenon is equipment that can accommodate more rankings. Portland, Maine, used a ballot in their 2011 Mayoral election that allowed voters to rank all 15 candidates, if they wanted. Cambridge, Massachusetts has equipment that can allow up to 30 candidates to be ranked. (I don't think they've ever had more than 29.) But the vendors of that equipment have not taken it through California's very expensive certification process.

The good news is that Dominion (which bought Sequoia) has equipment that can accommodate 11 rankings going through the Federal qualification process. The bad news is that we don't know when that process will complete.

With more rankings, there will be fewer involuntarily exhausted ballots; none if the voters can rank all the candidates. (You will still have exhausted ballots from voters who only rank a few candidates, all of whom end up losing early on. But that will be due to the voter's deliberate choice, not due to equipment limitations.)

By the way, Oakland had ten candidates for Mayor (not including write-ins), of whom at least four (not three) were considered credible. (Everyone seems to forget Joe Tuman.) And RCV opponents have been quick to claim that that contest also suffered from too many exhausted ballots. But I would agree with you that it performed as advertised, and go further and say it performed as advertised in San Francisco as well.

The occupy/progressive message is vote progressive, when they get a progressive it is disaster Quan.

The dog chases it's tail.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

Yeah I'm sure Perata would have been soooo much better.

Note how all the sound and fury over the recall came to nothing. That's because at the end of the day, Oaklanders realize that for all the bad things you can say about how she handled Occupy, she's probably better than the alternative of machine politics as usual. Her admittedly disasterous handling of Occupy shows her inexperience (and even there, I think Perata would have been much worse), but at least she's not corrupt -she's not handing the city over to be robbed by her cronies.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

How's his son; and how are Don's backers doing? Oh, wait, I forgot. I not only don't care, but had actually developed such a severe aversion to Perata that I have to remark that it is with absolute *JOY* I consider the fact that he hasn't been on TV lately. Thank you Jean Quan voters! All in all, it *is* better. Thanks.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

Perata only got 34% in the first round; 66% of the voters wanted someone other than Perata. The "anyone but Perata" crowd was larger than the "Perata or someone like him" crowd, and as that information was NOT lost, the "anyone but Perata" crowd won.

Posted by Steve Chessin, President, Californians for Electoral Reform on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 12:14 am

It's the idea that some centrist nobody is better than someone with conviction. If you take IRV to it's logical conclusion, you get Italian-style politics with coalitions of nobodies that can't get anything none. And in fact, Quan has done nothing.

Less people wanted Quan than Perata and that information has been lost by IRV.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 5:24 am

Won't someone do SOMETHING, ANYTHING?

The entire US political system has been designed to preserve the status quo except in some municipalities and states, NJ,here the executive branch has been given a dose of steroids to "get things done."

Sometimes, as far as things to be done goes, less is more.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 5:53 am

"It's the idea that some centrist nobody is better than someone with conviction."

If that conviction resembles the current Republican platform, then, yes, I'd rather have a centrist nobody. Of course! "First, do no harm."

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 9:59 am

"You're supposed to vote FOR something."

Who says? There's no guarantee that even a good-enough candidate will run in every election.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 9:57 am

Not that I was ever really a fan, but the idea of a business organization having any kind of a position on something so utterly unrelated to the concerns of business owners as the details of an election system really has steam coming out of my ears. Kudos to all the people who leaned on their supes to defeat this.

Posted by diabolical_mdog on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

The politics of cooties is a poor substitute for sober policy analysis.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 6:10 am

of any policy proposal.

Of course, the Chamber of Commerce may be wrong and marcos may be correct -- or maybe they've re-thought their aversion to having progressives succeed in the polls?

Ooh, wait! I know! The Chamber of Commerce, cognizant of the progressives tendency to fall into this cootie trap, have come out in favor of the repeal of RCV elections in order to trick us into supporting it!

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 6:34 am

Ignore cooties at your peril.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 7:35 am

Its okay, I got a cootie shot.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 9:13 am

Perhaps IRV repeal was floated as a diversion to distract us from some give away that Ed Lee secreted when we were not looking?

Perhaps the CoC read my and Calvin Welch's positions, decided that we were correct, and goaded progressives into further slitting their throats?

It would not be the first time that they actually did throw us in the briar patch at our behest before we realized that we are not Brer Rabbit and that we cannot slither through the thorns.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 7:36 am

progressive crowd is fighting so hard to keep it.

Seriously, I'm confused by this. Since RCV came into play, the Board of Supes has gone from a progressive majority to minority, and we got a mayor who is probably the most right of center guy we've had in almost three decades.

It's all a big whatever to me...but RCV seems to favor the most palatable, neutral candidate. AKA, nobody who is too polarizing, AKA the quiet moderate. Tony Kelley's D10 defeat proved this. And that defeat was huge for the future of the City, it changed everything.

Posted by Guest@yahoo.com on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

What can we say, we're trapped on a train that's been hijacked and is headed straight to Stockholm where the hostages are gleefully assisting the hijackers.

IRV is supposed to provide ideological vote transfer. But the only observed affirmative vote transfer is between Asian surnames. The remaining transfers amount to half or more exhausted ballots with no discernible ideological transfer.

We've also seen the "anyone but" phenomenon a few times, D2 2010 and Oakland Mayor. Now that's a positive reason to adopt a new voting system, the presumption that most candidates are undesirable therefore adopt a system that makes "anyone but" easier.

Posted by marcos on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 6:19 am