Clever, this is!
By Vic Berardelli, Special to the Bangor (Maine) Daily News
The only effective ballot reform is one that puts politicians in their place. The current crop of proposed citizen initiatives tampers with the voting process but keeps political egos inflated. The time has come to enact the negative ballot.
Petitions are circulating in an attempt to get a referendum that would have the voters select office holders on a rank-and-reallocate basis.
Basically, one would vote for the candidate of choice but be asked to mark a second choice among the other candidates. In theory, if no candidate wins a clear majority (50 percent plus one) then the lowest candidate is eliminated and the second choice votes under that candidate are allocated to produce a majority vote winner.
Phi Beta Iota: This is a very clever variation on the Instant Run-Off concept and explains it in a manner that is understandable to anyone. Under such a system, two-party candidates captive to their party platform and donor demands (including foreign donors) would be quickly eliminated, and centrists elected. HOWEVER, this is only one of eight electoral reforms that are needed, and it merits comment that Open Primaries are an additional reform needed to cleanse the two parties of their extremist and billionaire donor influence.