Letter: Time for Red Wing go instant-runoff voting


To the editor:

Red Wing has a lot to be proud of in its democratic (small "d") history, traditions and election policies. The "more than two candidates for an office triggers a primary election" system is not one of those.

Our shriveling, crippled national democracy is in exactly the trouble it is in today because of a few of our 1-percenter "founders" who, in 1787, decided that a two-party system would keep the power invested where it belonged, in the hands of the rich and powerful. That system has dribbled down to state, county and municipal governments to the point that it has devolved into a system that "allows" voters to select from two evils on a consistent basis.

In 2016, Red Wing started with five mayor candidates, reduced those choices to two with a primary, and one of the "winners" dropped out of the race before the election. If there was ever evidence of how poorly this system works, 2016 was it.

Our country and city are, today, blessed with computers and near-first-world math skills and an instant-runoff (or ranked choice) system would save taxpayers the time and money wasted in a municipal primary and allow all of the candidates to make their case right up to the November election deadline.

It is long past time for Red Wing to join the other Minnesota cities who have modernized and democratized their city elections by eliminating these time and money-wasting primaries with instant-runoff elections in November.

A clear explanation of the instant-runoff system can be found at www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/irvoting.pdf. The only people opposed to instant-runoff elections are the folks who own our current system and who would rather be Russian than live in a democratic society.

Thomas Day

Red Wing