Friends in Liberty,
I received a call from a frustrated Mr. Ken Pentel of the Green Party on Sunday evening, who relayed an upsetting story to me. Educating me of Minnesota State Senate File 642, some seemingly renegade State legislators are plotting to allow Minnesota cities to adopt alternative voting methods, such as Instant Runoff Voting, or Approval Voting. The powers behind the two-party system will not let this stand! The bill has passed Senate Committee, and may very well meet its fate in the House Civil Laws Committee.
In all seriousness, I wasn’t even aware that the State of Minnesota could prevent a municipality from holding city elections by means of voting methods clearly superior to plurality voting. I’d ponder as to why this law exists, but I’d be kidding myself. But, as an occasional light of logic and reason goes, some Senator or Representative has to get the crazy idea in his head of deregulation.
You hear that?! There is hope!
Unfortunately, among the entities that do not believe a city should be allowed to elect its own mayor by their own, more fair voting method, is the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). Being pro-life or pro-choice is a serious and often personal matter; the MCCL often serves a noble cause, regardless of opinion. But I am sure all of you will fail to see what abortion has to do with an independent city choosing to elect its city council by means of Instant Runoff Voting or Approval Voting. So do I. Yet the MCCL does not hide its opposition to SF642, and may very well be misusing its well-earned, respected clout to bully and coerce members of the Minnesota State Legislature into opposing this legislation at all costs. The pressure against it right now is even holding the bill back from being considered in committee.
Now I am upset, too.
Like (but less so than) individuals, a city’s government is sovereign from, and should not be dictated by The State. It is time for us to be heard. Libertarians, Greens, Constitution, Independence, Republicans, DFL, and independents alike—this is not, and should not be a partisan issue.
Most of you know the drill: write a letter to every committee member--especially the chair, make phone calls, send emails, tell your friends, family, and colleagues. Feel free to forward this email on. In either case, endorse it! I’ve provided a list of the committee members and their contact information, to make it a bit easier.