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An Interesting New Idea: Ranked Choice Voting

Jeff Hall

Posted on October 22, 2018 20:50

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Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) sounds complicated at first, but if you trust the computers to do the counting, our happiness with electoral outcomes might go way up as a result of this interesting idea.

I had the good fortune to go to a Harvard Business School reunion recently.  It was my 40th – hard to believe.  

I attended a very interesting presentation given by Professor Michael Porter and businesswoman/civic activist Katherine Gehl.

Gehl's and Porter’s central thesis: Our two-party political system isn’t really broken.  It’s a duopoly that does exactly what it is designed to do – keep the two-party system in place, as is.   

Many jobs are at stake – campaign consultants, pollsters, lobbyists, staffs – and of course, those of our elected officials.  It's all about beating the other side.

While the current system practically guarantees partisan gridlock, the system is quite outstanding when it comes to protecting the status quo.

Gehl and Porter offered many suggestions for fixing things, but they put particular emphasis on a “Four Forward” open primary and ranked-choice voting (RCV) general election system.