For Immediate Release, Nov 29, 2000

Pete Karman 860-347-9578

The shabby spectacle of ballot bingo being played out for all the world to see by presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush is the result of America’s antiquated and unfair electoral system. As a start to cleaning up the mess, the Central Connecticut chapter of the Green Party is calling for passage of the Instant Runoff Voting Act by the state legislature.

The act would ensure that any candidate running for state office would win by a simple majority by allowing voters to rank their preferences for all the candidates for a given office. Candidates with the fewest votes would be automatically eliminated and their totals transferred to the voters’ next choices.

If such a system had been in place on November 7, additional millions of citizens could have voted for Ralph Nader or other third party candidates without the fear that they were “wasting their vote” or helping the candidate they least preferred. Such runoff systems are commonplace in other democratic countries. They encourage a wide variety of political options and higher voter turnouts. The United States, with its entrenched two-party system and rigid winner-take-all elections, has the narrowest range of voter choices and lowest voter turnout of all modern nations. As the old line goes, politics in American runs the gamut from A to B.

Instant runoff is a good start, but it will take many reforms to make voting in America match the nation’s ideals. Neither of the major parties has a real interest either in widening voter participation or improving the electoral system. For them, business as usual is the safest and most profitable option.

The Greens, America‘s new third party, is based on millions of active citizens rather than millions in corporate cash. It plans to be an ever growing force for clean, honest government. Open the system and let the sunshine in.

The Green Party welcomes newcomers. For information on forthcoming meetings in our area, call Vic Lancia at 342-3865 or visit our website.