Michael Feinstein, a former Santa Monica mayor, has an excellent piece on Alaska’s new brand of ranked ballot. Here is my favorite selection:
It’s very dangerous for our democracy to misread (or misrepresent) the frustration that comes from voters’ lack of choice under our current system — that comes from having only two competitive major parties that are not fully representative of the range of viewpoints in the electorate — and conclude that voters reject the idea of political parties per se.
This same anti-party mentality assumes the growing number of non-affiliated voters (who chose not to register as a party member in voter-registration-by-party-states) means these voters reject political parties per se, when the reality is that the electoral system does not render electorally viable parties that represent them.
There is a longer discussion on Matthew Shugart’s blog.
This is the best thing I’ve read from IVN in a long time. Normally, IVN tends to pour gas on the same anti-party fire that Feinstein notes in his piece. Not all reforms are created alike, and, as Feinstein notes, we are at a critical point of decision. Choices made now could set direction for years.