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Instant runoff voting needs support

we have a real chance of getting an irv bill passed by the oregon legislature.

but we need your help to do it.

now. now. now.
On Wednesday, March 14, the House Committee on Elections, Ethics & Rules held a hearing on HB 2761, which would allow cities and counties to use IRV for local elections. Although similar legislation has been introduced several times before, this is the first time the bill has ever received a hearing.

The hearing went well: about 8 IRV proponents testified in person, including one Corvallis City Councilor. Two other elected officials sent letters of support and another proponent testified by phone. The bill does face some opposition, mostly from the state Director of Elections, John Lindback, who is a staunch IRV opponent. Fortunately for us, Mr. Lindback misstates and misrepresents facts and is so over the top that he undermines his own credibility.

The Committee is a 7 member committee and my best guess is that we have 3 of the 4 votes needed to send this bill to the full floor of the House. We're really closeŚwe just need to pick up one more vote.

PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS IMMEDIATELY and express your support for HB 2761.

Call, write or email the Committee members. If you're sending an email, put HB 2761 in the subject line.

Here is a sample letter. USE YOUR OWN WORDS. Make sure to put your name on the message and list your contact information. If one of the Committee members is your representative, it is very important to mention that.

Dear Representative,

I'm writing in support of HB 2761 which would uphold the Oregon Constitution and give local communities the choice of using preference voting, or instant runoff, for local elections.

Cities and counties have the right to use an election method that is provided for in the Constitution.

Please send HB 2761 to the House with a "do pass" recommendation.

Sincerely,

Contact information for the Committee follows:

Diane Rosenbaum, chair, D-42nd (Portland) 503.986.1442  rep.dianerosenbaum@state.or.us
Vicki Berger, vice-chair, R-20th (Salem) 503.986.1420  rep.vickiberger@state.or.us
Peter Buckley, vice-chair, D-5th (Ashland) 503.986.1405  rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us
Sal Esquivel, R-6th (Medford) 503.986.1406  rep.salesquivel@state.or.us
Dave Hunt, D-40th (Portland) 503.986.1900  rep.davehunt@state.or.us
Arnie Roblan, D-9th (Coos Bay) 503.986.1409  rep.arnieroblan@state.or.us
Kim Thatcher, R-25th (Salem) 503.986.1425  rep.kimthatcher@state.or.us

It is especially important that Representative Roblan be contacted, as he is a potential swing vote. If you know of people in Coos Bay, North Bend, Reedsport or Florence, they are Rep. Roblan's constituents and should be encouraged to contact him.

To keep on top of IRV developments, check out www.irvoregon.org.

Thanks,

Blair Bobier

IRV on Public Access T.V. 17.Mar.2007 17:29

Jim Lockhart jglockhart@PhilosopherSeed.org

For those of y ou who have cable, the Public Access television program, "A Growing Concern" on this last Friday night featured David Delk of the Portland Alliance for Democracy speaking about Instant Run Off Voting.

Along with David, Barbara Dudley, of Oregon Working Families Party spoke about HB 3040, which will institute Fusion voting for the state of Oregon.

Each had a brief Power Point presentation as well. A good way to learn about both these efforts to make our elections a bit more democratic.

This program will replay on Sunday evening at 10:00 on channel 23 and again on Thursday at 10:00 on channel 22.

I've included a few freeze frames from the video. Hopefully they will be viewable.

I'd be glad to run off some dubs of this program if anyone has an interest in showing it around to their friends, neighbors or community.......


I support IRV as important 'half step', as well as PRMA for 'full step' forward 17.Mar.2007 17:54

biostate commentary

I support IRV for a foot in the door; then with wider competitive parties mattering, work for more... IRV will have the pragmatic effect of having corporate parties working for it, which will get it past the gatekeeping door.

Republicans have in the past offered IRV in Alaska when they thought they would win informal second round totals (with right-wing/separatist parties of Alaska splitting the right demographic in Alaska).

Democrats have offered it as well when they thought they would win informal second round wins in Arizona for instance (with Green parties splitting the left demographic in Arizona.

These are just two political examples of who have pressured it into formalization in the past, though this was the common dynamic: a party already in power wanting to shore itself up without appealing to larger demographics, only to second round plurality wins--so it could continue to be less representative in the first round.


suggested reading:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Who's Trojan Horse Is it? IRV as Both Half Step for Democracy and as Solidifying Corportocracy, Beware
 http://biostate.blogspot.com/2006/11/whos-trojan-horse-is-it-irv-as-both.html

excerpt:

"For how IRV needlessly serves to maintain and even solidify the U.S. two party corrupt party framework, and for how other mechanisms would be more beneficial read on.

While I would support IRV as a Trojan Horse "moving into the city" held by the Democratic-Republican neocons, remember that it is as well a horse that serves to perpetuate Democratic and Republican second round wins, without them having to earn the votes. Thus, beware that IRV can serve as a Trojan Horse in the reverse: maintaining the same old parties in power without any change of policy even as their base of support has eroded, as much as building the potentials of more competitive parties.

Either way it is interpreted, IRV has difficulties itself. It is at best a half-step toward a more optimal democracy--though perhaps an important half step.

In this short post I'll compare IRV to PRMA, or 'proportional representation with majoritarian allotment,' which is a full step that removes some of the still unrequired limitations of IRV."

 http://biostate.blogspot.com/2006/11/whos-trojan-horse-is-it-irv-as-both.html