A bipartisan handful of Wisconsin legislators have introduced a bill to implement a ranked-choice voting (RCV) system for the elections of federal legislative offices. RCV is also referred to as “instant runoff” or “final five,” but irrespective of what one calls it, it is bad policy that contorts our electoral process and obfuscates the will of the governed.
The proponents of ranked-choice voting see it as a means to reduce the rancor that we see in our politics today. What they seem to forget is that acrimony, forceful rhetoric, and gridlock are not a bug in our political system. It is a feature. It shows that it is working. After all, we have imbued these politicians with the power to restrict our rights and confiscate our property. We do not want them to do that lightly where submissive agreement is a greater priority than good public policy. The process should be difficult and discordant opinions should be forcefully expressed.
We are a nation with an endless spectrum of political philosophies and social values. In a representative government, we want all of those philosophies and values to be vehemently advocated in the public square so that they are included in the creation of public policy. Ranked-choice voting serves to silence the philosophical diversity that makes our nation stronger.
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