Sorting out a strange election - Page 3

What the Nov. 6 results mean -- and don't mean

London Breed beat three flawed progressive candidates to win the D5 race.

On election night, Olague told us she believed her split with the Mayor's Office really had more to do with CleanPowerSF –- which the board approved with a veto-proof majority over the objections of Lee and the business community –- and with her insisting on new revenue from Prop. E than it did with Mirkarimi, whose ouster she dismissed as "a power play" aimed at weakening progressives.

"They don't want to say it, but it was the whole thing around CleanPowerSF. Do you think PG&E wanted to lose its monopoly?" she said.

Yet Olague said the blame from her loss was also shared by progressives, who were hard on her for supporting Lee, courting his appointment to the D5 seat, and for voting with him on 8 Washington luxury condo project and other high-profile issues. "The left and the right both came at me," she told us. "From the beginning, people were hypercritical of me in ways that might not be completely fair."

Fair or not, Olague's divided loyalties hurt her campaign for the D5 seat, with most prominent progressives only getting behind her at the end of the race after concluding that John Rizzo's lackluster campaign wasn't going anywhere, and that Julian Davis, marred as he was by his mishandling of sexual impropriety accusations, couldn't and shouldn't win.

Olague told us she "can't think of anything I would have done differently." But she later mentioned that she should have raised the threats to renters earlier, worked more closely with other progressive candidates, and relied on grassroots activists more than political consultants connected to the Mayor's Office.

"The left shouldn't deal with consultants, we should use steering committees to drive the agenda," Olague said, noting that her campaign finally found its footing in just the last couple weeks of the race.

Inside sources say Olague's relations with Lee-connected campaign consultant Enrique Pearce soured months before the campaign finally sidelined him in the final weeks, the result of his wasteful spending on ineffective strategies and divided loyalties once a wedge began to develop between Olague and the Mayor's Office.

Progressive endorsements were all over the map in the district: The Harvey Milk Club endorsed Davis then declined to withdraw that endorsement. The Tenants Union wasn't with Olague. The Guardian endorsed Rizzo number one. And none of the leading progressive candidates had a credible ranked-choice voting strategy -- Breed got nearly as many second-place votes from Davis and Rizzo supporters as Olague did.

Meanwhile, Breed had a high-profile falling out with Brown, her one-time political ally, after her profanity-laden criticism of Brown appeared in Fog City Journal and then the San Francisco Chronicle, causing US Sen. Dianne Feinstein to withdraw her endorsement of Breed. That incident and Olague's ties to Lee, Brown, and Pak may have solidified perceptions of Breed's independence among even progressive voters, which the late attacks on her support from landlords weren't ever able to overcome.

Ironically, while Breed and some of her prominent supporters, including African American ministers in the district, weren't happy when Lee bypassed her to appoint Olague, that may have been her key to victory. Latterman noted that while Olague was plagued by having to divide loyalties between Lee and her progressive district and make votes on tough issues like reinstating Mirkarimi –- a vote that could hurt the D5 supervisor in either direction -– Breed was free to run her race and reinforce her independence: "I think Supervisor Breed doesn't win this race; challenger Breed did."

But even if Breed lives up to progressive fears, the balance of power on the Board of Supervisors could be up in the air. District 7 soundly rejected Mike Garcia, the hand-picked successor of the conservative outgoing Sup. Sean Elsbernd.


"Inside sources say Olague's relations with Lee-connected campaign consultant Enrique Pearce soured months before the campaign finally sidelined him in the final weeks, the result of his wasteful spending on ineffective strategies and divided loyalties once a wedge began to develop between Olague and the Mayor's Office."

Lesson Number One: do not hire Enrique Pearce.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 14, 2012 @ 8:32 am

Decent report guys, but very sloppily assumptive on one key point. A point on which such sloppiness helped cost us the D5 election.

This was your claim:

"voting with [Lee] on 8 Washington luxury condo project and other high-profile issues."

Really? What other high profile issues? (I can only think of one other vote on which Olague reversed on progressives, and though somewhat important, it wasn't high profile. Few progressive likely even noticed it. This was Olague's vote to retain conservative Planning Commissioner Michael Antonini - who, had he been rejected, Lee would have simply replaced with another more palatable appointee who would still be a rubber stamp for developers.)

So your vague tossing off of the phrase 'other high profile votes' was due the fact that you couldn't think of any such other votes off the top of your head - because they didn't actually exist. Your oft repeated during the election vague claim, made it seem as if there was a whole raft of stuff on which Olague voted with moderates. That flat out never happened. She went against us on two important votes. Period. On all the other key votes, she was with us (and in the case of the Beach Chalet soccer fields, all by herself).

So it was this constant vague refrain from the SF Guardian and others about nonexistent bad votes, which misled progressive voters into being much more conflicted about Olague, when we all should have wised up and made clear that for progressives, Olague was -far- more preferable to Breed as a supervisor.

The wishy washy reaction to Olague's candidacy had its origin in the media and in progressives who were (quite rightly) so bitter about how the Lee-Brown administration has re-hijacked the city, that they couldn't use good judgment, cut their losses, and make sure that they supported Olague and Rizzo -strongly- from very early on as a progressive block against Breed.

That was a -major- screw up on all of our parts on the progressive side of this ongoing political battle for control of the City.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 7:20 am

and initial evasive answers on the Lee perjury matter; admittedly not votes, but still seemingly tying her a bit too closely to the "moderates."

Posted by Guest on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 7:45 am

And in fact her statements about ranked choice voting were just a ploy to help those of us on the pro RCV front draw the debate away from Farrel's dangerous proposal, toward a pretense of a compromise; and then once Farrel's measure was off the table, to scuttle the whole idea of a ballot measure to the waste bin. Which is exactly what we did. ;)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 8:39 am

Eric, apply your scientific wisdom to IRV without your political blinders for a moment and acknowledge that it leads to less public involvement in the electoral process and tends to elect middling, lesser evil candidates.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 8:58 am

To date our failures with IRV have been our own failure to properly work within the model for progressive gain. Lesser evil? Perhaps a little in some RCV races. But under contentious run offs, we -also- end up having to settle for a lesser evil candidate and invariably that lesser evil candidate is far more weak kneed than the ones we end up settling for in IRV.

IRV doesn't completely eliminate the need to factor in lesser-evil candidates. But it makes them less prominent so that we can build the reputations of more progressive candidates, and in the end, if we have to settle, to settle for a lesser-evil who is not nearly as bad as we would have been forced to accept in a run off.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 9:15 am

The evidence shows that runoffs strengthen populist politics and the lack of runoffs weakens populist politics and strengthens corporate politics.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 9:22 am

By my equation, IRV spares progressives massive energy, person hours, and expense, that would otherwise be wasted battling in the overblown electoral arena -twice- each election against huge monied interests. Eliminating this nonsense is definitely a net benefit to progressives who should be spending far more of our time, energy and money on building our communities for resilience, passing legislation for social and environmental good, and fighting bad legislation.

And many analysts have already shown that turn out is in fact better during IRV than in run offs. Steven Hill has shown these numbers repeatedly, and this was recently confirmed by a study of IRV commissioned by the SF Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo).



And higher turn outs favor progressive outcomes.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 10:24 am

"By my equation, IRV spares progressives massive energy, person hours, and expense, that would otherwise be wasted battling in the overblown electoral arena -twice- each election against huge monied interests."

Yes, absolutely terrible things happen when people come together to work together to skill share to contest and even win elections. To be avoided at all costs.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 11:10 am

And in fact, electoral politics is the last avenue I would choose to build a movement upon. It is by far the worst such.

The ludicrously enormous amount of energy, time and money that organizers have totally flushed down the toilet campaigning for Obama is the perfect example.

The anti WTO and other Global Justice Movement mobilizations are far more valuable and create far better and long lasting real results in the real world.

Electoral politics in the 21st century (other than ballot measure campaigns) have become a joke.

Locally, candidate campaigns still matter. But certainly not enough to burn ourselves out fighting the same candidate battle twice in every damned election for every race.

No way, man.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

but I think you've got it exactly backwards.

I very much value your opinion on most matters and consider you to be a worthy guide, but on this I think it's more likely that I'll bring you around to my way of thinking rather than the other way around.

That's because of how I remember the old system. Lets see if we have a similar recollection.

I remember how on election day how there might be one or two decent candidates, a couple mediocre ones, and one really awful one. I'd have to consult the newspaper polls to try and discern which of the non-awful candidates might have the best chance of beating the really awful one in December. I think others besides me voted in November for someone who was a "lesser of two evils" candidate so that they might maximize the chances to end up with an acceptable, mediocre, result later.

Very stressful, and it puts far too much power in the hands of pollsters.

I like the system the way it is far more than the old system, and we need to move foward with getting the election hardware which the preference voting law awaits so that it can realize its fullest potential; allowing us voters to specify a preference order for every candidate in the race.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 9:26 am

Preference voting and IRV are different systems. There is no perfect voting system, they are all sets of trade offs. My read is that the trade offs with IRV are worse for populist candidates than the trade offs with runoffs. As neighborhood political power mounted in the late 1990s and early 2000s, due to organizing during runoffs in 1999, 2000 and 2003, political wins piled up as well. In 2000, three supervisorial seats reversed outcomes in the runoff compared to the general election in favor of neighborhoods forces. Since then, there have been two instances where the first place first vote candidates lost to second choice candidates and both have hurt progressives.

The preponderance of the evidence points to the fact that the tradeoffs in IRV when compared to those of runoffs damage populist politics. I'd go as far as to assert that the abandoning of runoffs means that populist politics have abandoned aspirating the movement with fresh air every so often such that absent that leavening, we've learned that a movement cannot live on matzoh, crackers and poppadum alone.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 10:25 am

However I would argue that the reason there was such a progressive uprising in the 2000s was that progressives had been getting their asses kicked and finally realized that they were cooked if they didn't take action bigtime.

Once IRV came in, too many progressives wrongly assumed it would solve all of their electoral problems, and they all backed off of their sense of alarm that the right can take us by surprise and outmaneuver us if we don't stay active.

This led progressives to fail to launch strong campaigns for Tony Kelly in D10, and Rizzo/Olague in D5.

Now that progressives have seen that being too relaxed about this stuff has led to the Brown/Pak coup in 2010, a progressive loss in D10, and a total clusterfuck that could have been avoided in D5, trust me, they are sufficiently awake; and aware that IRV has to be used effectively and -actively- with real expense of time, energy, and feet on the ground to deliver its promises - and that it does by any stretch not solve all of their problems.

But IRV can help us immensely -if- we use it properly.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 10:40 am

Eric, progressive power rose in the 1990s from nothing, there was a liberal presence on the Board of Supervisors before that but after Moscone, nothing remotely progressive at all.

IRV was put into place by Steven Hill to set the table for IRV in partisan races under the misapprehension that people were not voting Green because they feared spoiling the Democrabs for the Republicrabs when in reality people did not want to vote for wing nuts, Green or otherwise. Hill's subsequent work as a "rent-a-political-scienctist" appears to be firmly in the camp of the neoliberal establishment over at the New America Foundation.

IRV has not set the table for anything but a progressive starvation diet. At this rate, we'll be dead before the last standing progressives can figure out IRV as lack of IRV will not bring anyone new into the progressive electoral process.

D5 was an unforced error, IRV is another unforced error.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 10:58 am

I don't see IRV causing those problems at all.

But, it can be said that Proportional Representation would certainly be a far better way locally to empower third parties and get their reps in office.

Let's make it happen.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

Italy has a PR system, and government there seem powerless to make change, and seem to change every few months. PR leads to weak, disparate government which ensures a wishy-washy muddle-thru compromise on everything. If you think PR is a progressive nirvana you are greatly mistaken. It generally means more of the status quo.

I think this whole argument is flawed. If your message resonates with the people, you will win elections whatever the voting system. You seem to want a system that rigs the results in your favor. not surprisingly, there isn't such a system if you can't persuade most of the voters to believe it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 7:10 am

Your comments about Europe under proportional representation simply bear no resemblance to reality whatsoever.

European countries run via proportional representation have, across the board, vastly better social outcomes than the U.S.; better wealth equality, health care, early childhood mortality, worker protections, vacation time, maternity leave, pay and benefits, and on and on...

And Germany, which employs proportional representation, has the strongest economy in Europe. Germany is also now successfully completing a rapid phase out of nuclear power, and has the strongest renewable energy program on the planet, largely because its government has such robust Green Party representation.

Can you please describe the planet on which you have discovered the mythical 'Europe' that you described in your post?

Because it doesn't exist on this one.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 11:35 am

continue to spew the same flavor of unsubstantiated "conventional wisdom" rubbish.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

The UK has all those social welfare benefits, free healthcare etc and they have a "first past the post" system. So it's not PR that makes a government left-wing at all - it's a majority of voters wanting that, which can happen under any voting system.

Some nations in Europe have PR and some do not, but I defy anyone to show how those two groups are significantly different from each other..

The real reason you want PR, of course, is that you belong to a fringe party which might just scrape a small amount of representation if we had the same voting system as Italy.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

would argue so insipidly.

AG is in effect saying that we want PR so we can have representation for our fringe left-wing political viewpoints, but also that we should know that PR does not make a government left wing at all; that while PR governments are wishy-washy muddle-through affairs, that there is no difference in outcomes between PR governments and first-past-the-post governments.

Take a nap AG.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

would also gives us the odd fascist, nazi or racist. Do you really want to see polarization towards the extremes when the vast majority of Americans clearly want centrists and moderates in power?

PR doesn't necessarily give left-wing governments, that's true. But it does tend to prevent any one party holding power, and paralysis is often the result.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

elections, and then awarding the eleven Supervisors seats on thee grounds of the distribution of votes. It's not clear to me how that would help Progressives given that they usually do badly in city-wide elections, with only the ill-fated Ross winning one in recent living memory.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

Not that I agree with Eric. This idea is as bad as destroying Hetch Hetchy reservior. Eric -- we have local politics now. The idea of proportional representation as promoted in 1996 was not a bad idea, per se, but even though it would guarantee some strongly progressive representation on the board, it would put the body as a whole firmly back into PG$E's grip. No!

But anyway, just to clarify, the earlier proportional voting system would have allocated second, third, fourth, and so on, votes only after the higher preferences had attained office; in a system having multiple at-large officials, it avoids the temptation or need to excercise "bullet" voting wherein one's ballot is left partially blank so that one's vote for a less desirable candidate does not in effect work against the one who you have greatest preference for. I used to leave my ballot partially blank often in the bad old days.

I would say that proportion voting would be useful for the central committee, school board, etc.

(Now off to work for real!)

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

voting system is the one that most skews the results towards the guy you want to win?

Eventually, you admit it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

Plus it would bring back the main reason for district elections: that candidates running at the district level don't have to raise as much money to be competitive.

Posted by Hortencia on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

It is to widely diversify representation to all smaller political groups. My objective as a Green would be to get Greens and other third parties on the Board, and thereby end the total dominance and complacency of local Democrats.

And PR does not necessarily mean a return to city wide elections. Each district voter could vote for their preferred party and -also- rank the choices s/he wishes their party to appoint in that district.

So if the city went down to 5 districts and in a hypothetical District 1, greens won 2 out of 5 spots in that district, the IRV process would determine which 2 specific Green candidates ranked highest and were appointed in that district.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:55 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

Certainly not enough to gain ongoing critical mass on the Board.

Nor has there been a Republican for decades (a situation which is clearly completely disenfranchising Republican voters in San Francisco).

And if we had proportional representation, I have no doubt that the Peace & Freedom Party (and likely some other parties) would also gain a few seats.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

And in any case you just tried to claim that Europe sucks compared to the U.S. because of proportional representation. Now you are claiming something to the effect of:

'ohhh uhhh... well.. Europe doesn't suck, but that's not because of proportional representation..'

Get your story straight, then type...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

welfare benefits such that working there is a "lifestyle choice".

If that isn't socialism, then what is? And no PR in the UK, ever.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

Yes, and the UK also has poorer social outcomes (including health outcomes) than other Western European countries which use proportional representation in elections.

Whether it is socialist or not, has nothing to do with deciding which electoral form delivers better standards of living and social outcomes through better democratic representation.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

You can point to many things that differentiate different nations in Europe, but it's a stretch to argue that all is good in nations with PR and all is bad in those that do not have it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

..writing what you are claiming I wrote, troll.

I remember saying that Europe is largely run via PR and has better outcomes than in the U.S. Since what sort of democracy one has tends to greatly influence such outcomes, it is clearly relevant.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

And -- as has been pointed out to me recently -- the 2002 (4?) law which established that system already provides for every single candidate to be selected in order of preference by the voter when election hardware allows it; a change which is overdue in my opinion.

If D5 voters had been able to rank more candidates, I think it is a good bet that Olague would have found herself elected by thousands of fourth and fifth place picks.

And in D7, Norman Yee has been (unofficially so far) named as the winner. Would F.X. Crowley with his SEIU and downtown support not likely have won a run-off?

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 10:49 am
Posted by marcos on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 11:01 am

a misnomer, was it not?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the parliamentary system in England is analogous to that '96 proposal and is called "proportional" not "preferential."

In our current S.F. system we vote preferences, so I think that is the correct term for it.

I do see the validity of your objection to the system, but I think that points to the need to look for some other compesatory action rather than reverse IRV.

Posted by lillipubicans on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 11:15 am

No, the UK Parliament is elected in the worst possible of all ways, it is first past the post, or whichever candidate wins the most votes wins the election, full stop.

Proportional representation is generally done via parties where you vote for a party and it gets to fill as many percentage of seats as it gets percentage of votes.

Preference voting is generally used to fill multi seat race elections, like SFUSD or CCB or the old at large BofS. It is not widely deployed to fill a single seat election like district supervisor.

We have Instant Runoff Voting which has since been renamed Ranked Choice Voting by the SF Department of Elections to distract from the fact that it took them almost ten years to figure out how to make the algorithmic runs "instant" on election night.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 11:21 am

In any case, the '96 Prop H proposal was to eliminate the utility (and sacrifice) of "bullet voting"; casting fewer votes than the full number of open seats so that one's votes for less desirable candidates would not in effect cause them to be elected over those who were less desirable.

As for the current system, I still think it should be called "Preferential Order Voting" and think it is worth questioning how faithfully the election department has been working to implement the law.

By-the-way, your reference to Steven Hill and his reported neo-liberal leaning seems to be a "cooties-logic" refutation of that '96 idea which itself had merit, though less so than the district elections which were achieved then.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

few people have thought-out opinions on or support for more than 2-3 candidiates.

Take the 2005 D5 election when there was (IIRC) 21 candidiates. It's not realistic to rank all 21 in order of preference. Most of them where nobodies and deciding which one to rank #19 versus #20 is a big waste of everybody's time.

Three is probably the biggest number that anyone can reasonably support.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

No such election took place, but if you look at the 2011 Mayoral election you were just lying about, of 25 candidates -- most of whom were write-ins -- only ten scored more than one percent and only six scored higher than five percent.

Under a more complete implementation of the IRV law, voters will have no need for, and will receive no benefit from, voting for more candidates than they wish to express a preference for consider to be viable. Any votes for minor candidates are transferred and as long as enough slots are available to cover whomever might end up among the finalists, there will be no more "exhausted" ballots.

ED LEE 59663 30.72%
JOHN AVALOS 37395 19.25%
DENNIS HERRERA 21882 11.27%
DAVID CHIU 17893 9.21%
LELAND YEE 14566 7.5%
JEFF ADACHI 12515 6.44%
BEVAN DUFTY 9193 4.73%
TONY HALL 6914 3.56%
JOANNA REES 3096 1.59%

I know you are trolling me, Guest, and I'm not going to respond any further right now as I've got some work to do.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

made even the slightest difference to an election where, in the final "runoff", 3 voters chose Lee for every 2 that chose Avalos.

Allowing more choices between marginal candidiates one feels little for either way will not improve democracy nor will it enable a weak candidiate to win, as you obviously wish for.

If you want to win, put up a candidate who is more relevant to most SF'ers.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 18, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

Do you guys actually believe that voters rank all the candidates?

That they go to mayoral debates and take notes on the differences between Wilma Pang vs Emil Lawrence, even though they don't want either one to be Mayor?

Or do you just want the voters to change their ways, to do exponentially more work, in order to fit the RCV system?

I know that you badly need to hide one of RCV's great flaws in that it ignores large percentages of perfectly fine ballots, but asking people to change their ways to accommodate your system is never a winning idea.

It should also tell you something about what an embarrassment RCV is to San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 10:54 am

to the fullest degree that have them; only the current elections equipment limits choices to three.

If voters have reason to believe that "Wilma Pang" or "Emil Lawrence" might be in the running, then they will certainly express a preference between them.

Under the old system, voters would have to guess which candidates might make have a chance at making a runoff so they might have some say in what the ultimate choice might look like.

Your argument seems to be that voters shouldn't watch debates and they ought to be able to vote while only keeping a single name in their minds; perhaps one that has been fed to them by far wiser citizens such as yourself.

The embarassment to San Francisco is that despite its generally high level of education and intelligence, that a forum for hashing out progressive ideas such as this one would be populated by so many duplicitous and shallow arguments such as your own.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 16, 2012 @ 11:56 am

concerned with which voting system will elect more of the candidiates that you three happen to prefer.

The idea of a voting system is to most fairly and efficiently reflect the wishes of most voters, not of extremists desparate to juggle the system to distort the results in their favor.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 6:31 am

If, after 223 years of American Democracy and an untold number of elections, across thousands of municipalities, you still can't find machines to do elections the way that you want them, then you need to take a step and look back at what the hell you are doing.

I love it when people say that San Francisco is 'leading the way' with RCV. Then they have to remind you that Minneapolis/St. Paul are two cities. So are Burlington and Aspen of course, but they don't matter.

The proponents of RCV were just SO concerned about low turnout elections that they put the RCV ballot measure on a low turnout March ballot. They changed all future elections via a 30% turnout election. And Progressives have fought like crazy to prevent voters from getting another shot at it.

Don't think that Progressives are nothing but hypocrites? Explain that one.

Posted by Troll on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 8:12 am

Troll, you show no signs of change.

The IRV system was put into place by voters who turned out not at "30%" as you oh-so-typically lie, but at 34.15% -- the highest turnout of any of the previous four elections taking place over the span of two and a half years.

That 34.15% turn-out followed immediately on the heels of the turn-out run-off election of Dec 2001 where 16.58% of registered voters determined the results of two supervisorial run-off elections.

Prop A won convincingly by 55.48% to 44.52% which probably has more to do with why it hasn't been repealed than any "crazy" conspiracy you might allege.

In the March 2002 ballot pamphlet, former member of the citizens advisory committee on elections Christopher L. Bowman argued against the system, claiming there were better ways to avoid the problem of low turn-out in runoff elections -- all of which consisted of changing over to low turn-out "primary" elections!

I quote:
"First, move the primary for District Supervisors to March in even-numbered years, when city voters decide the nominees for State and Federal offices, and hold the run-off election in the high-voter turnout General Election in November. Second, move the primary in odd-numbered years, to the Tuesday eight days or fifteen days after Labor Day in September, and hold the run-off election in November. Third, move the primary in odd-numbered years to the weekend or second weekend after Labor Day when most people aren’t working."

Troll, you are hopeless -- but at least unlike "Guest" above, you sometimes think of new nonsense to write each time and do so under a distinctive sobriquet.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 9:17 am mean that RCV was approved by the voters in an election that had 34.15% turnout instead of the 30% that I said?

Well THAT certainly proves that the RCV proponents aren't completely hypocritical when they say that important decisions shouldn't be made during low turnout elections. Whoa. 34.15%!!!! A primary featuring incumbent Grey Davis. No way to expect a low turnout on that one I guess.

Hey, moron, did you happen to notice the turnout of the NOVEMBER election that year? The one that RCV proponents avoided? Or the one in 1996 when voter rejected a similar measure?

The rest of your post was incoherrent, sorry. Have they adjusted your meds again?

Posted by Troll on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 10:03 am

ever-changing position on RCV if one understands that his position is not based on any academic or fundamental principle, but rather is opportunistic, based on his ever-shifting perception of which variation of voting system is most likely to lead to the outcome he prefers.

Looking for logic in such a self-serving approach is futile. His views will be all over the place, election to election, race to race.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 10:39 am

Hmmm... let's analyze that to see if it is a Troll comment -- no need to look at the byline.

Controller Ed Harrington added this to the summaries of the two choices voters faced in regard to how supervisors would be elected in Nov. 1996:

"Notice to Voters: Propositions G and H appear to conflict with each other. If both measures are approved by the voters, and if the two measures conflict, the one receiving the greater number of votes will become law"

Prop G was for the return to district elections, which... let me guess halfwit, you are hypocritically *against* even though it passed in such a "high-turn-out" election -- while Prop H was for a proportional system which would have preserved at-large elections.

The 1996 Prop H had just about no similarity to 2002's Prop A.

Answer: the comment above is larded with falsehood, therefore it *is* a Troll comment.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 11:59 am

She voted to retain pro-development commission Anontini.

Eric, I see now that exhibit a completely troll-like willingness to diverge completely from reality in order to seem to have made a point or otherwise achieve some goal. Sad, as I once had (misplaced) high respect for you.

Contrary to what I took to be Steven Jones' position as stated in his recent "how we fight" essay -- that to bring peace and build a movement we need to make concessions to reactionary rhetoric -- I think we progressives best distinguish ourselves by simply sticking to facts.

Did you get what you wanted out of the proposal to destroy Hetch Hetchy?

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 17, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

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  • Redrawing the map

    Obscure task force charged with creating new supervisorial districts could have a big impact on the city's political landscape