Dear Editor: Maine has just legalized ranked-choice voting for the next presidential election. People seem to think it's the greatest thing since canned peaches. But while it seems sensible on the surface, in reality it is just a political gimmick that will not solve the basic problem of our democracy.
For one thing, there is no reason to believe that the winner of a majority is any better qualified than the winner of a plurality vote. Many complain about the tyranny of the majority, which we could avoid by instituting rule by plurality. As often as not, the plurality candidate will be better qualified.
Then we could reform our dysfunctional, clownish electoral system. Just assume that every legislator and every governor is eligible to be president. But they are not allowed to campaign or spend money promoting themselves. So people could choose from 485 candidates. The ones who did good works would be the best known, and accrue the most votes. No more droning speeches, lies, malarkey, propaganda, or god-awful debates. They would all be on the ballot in alphabetical order, so you could easily find your choice. The plurality winner from the field would probably be the best choice.
Americans have an irrational obsession with majority rule, which has brought us nothing but grief and folly. Let reason and plurality rule. Ranked-choice voting is a really rank idea. It's also expensive and time-consuming, that is, inefficient.
No more primaries, no more debates, no more Trumps. Real democracy.
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