Dan Maffei: the Lesser of Two Evils

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Seth Rutledge in Member Posts on Aug 15, 2012
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Dan Maffei the Lesser of Two Evils

By Seth Rutledge


Dan Maffei is back, contending for his congressional seat against Marie Buerkle and Ursula Rozum.  What can we expect from him given an examination of his short time in office? 

He votes with the democrats 96% of the time.  He consistently voted to approve funding for defense, intelligence, the war on drugs and homeland security.  He voted to supply military assistance to Israel and Pakistan, and for economic sanctions on Iran.

Despite these hawkish positions he voted against both parties to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. 

In conclusion: Maffei is a dove when compared to Buerkle; but a hawk when compared to Rozum.  Unfortunately given our electoral system all a candidate has to do is be better than the worst to secure the votes of many peace seeking citizens.  It is difficult to argue with this position given the reality of the situation: for example as detestable as Maffei’s sanctions against Iran are, Buerkle’s war with Iran would be much worse. 

We may never get a true peace candidate like Rozum without a reform of our electoral system.  An elegant solution to the spoiler effect/voting for the lesser of two evils, is a ranked choice ballot.  With a ranked choice ballot a voters list their candidates by preference.  In this case a voter seeking peace would rank Rozum first and Maffei second.  On the first round all of the fist choices are counted.  The candidate with the fewest votes is then eliminated, and all the ballots with the disqualified candidate ranked first are re-counted using the second choice.  This is repeated until the winner is determined.  So a voter could vote for Rozum, without “throwing away their vote” because if Rozum didn’t win then their second choice, Maffei, would still be counted. 

Ranked choice ballots are used in Australia, India, Ireland, the UK, Portland, and nine other states.  Peace loving citizens must demand this type of voting system or we will forever be stuck with the lesser of two evils. 

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