Philadelphia’s at-large seats

Today was primary day in Philly. Below is a portion of the ballot. I found myself relying on the “Vote for not more than X” instructions.

The race of interest is council-at-large. Here we are selecting five Democratic nominees to contest seven seats in November. (No party may give its label to more than five.)

This is where I pitch the “one-vote system.” All of the above candidates could run in the general without spoiling their party. There would be no further need to limit nominations by law. And the act of voting would be more user-friendly.

Superb article on primary reform

By Kyle Sammin for Real Clear Pennsylvania. The piece is all about replacing primaries with nomination-by-convention — a proposal that many political scientists likely would support. Here are my favorite lines:

Progressive–Era reformers thought they were returning power to the people by letting states interfere in party business. Instead, they wound up confusing the people, making them think of primary elections as a “first round” that precedes the general election. Returning to a convention system would let parties be parties again, help party members reach consensus instead of shouting past one another, and enable a party collectively to affirm its vision in choosing candidates who share its values.

And if you don’t like a party’s vision? Start your own party.

Also note the list of countries mentioned in the article. Several of them are frequently held up as examples of ranked-choice voting.

Minor parties also use conventions to select their candidates; so does nearly every political party around the world. Rather than spending taxpayer money on an election that benefits only themselves, the parties must pay their own way. And they do! In Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, and nearly any other democracy you can think of, this is how a party’s nominees are chosen.

This piece interestingly was written by a conservative.