Kathleen Hall Jamieson notes that a message she recently delivered at the Humphrey Center of Public Affairs was depressing (“Attacking facts endangers governance,” May 4), but the column by John Rash about the topic closed on an optimistic note: “When you care about a topic,” Jamieson said, “you can become highly knowledgeable and very sophisticated about navigating that knowledge. The public has all of those capacities. The question is do we feed those capacities? … I’m not pessimistic about the capacities of the electorate — as long as we don’t sabotage them.”
I believe these capacities are richly nourished when committed candidates and galvanized voters meet in a dialogical exchange at the ranked-choice voting interface, freed from “spoiler” and “wasted vote” canards — and less inhibited in the open expression of their will by myriad corrupting influences such as unrestricted campaign finance, contorted redistricting schemes and concentrated large-media bombardment.
Inspired election winners, with their legitimately derived majority outcomes, in turn help to further develop that collective voter capacity, as they confidently proceed from this “gateway exchange” into their particular domain of governance with more purposeful intent to reform other democracy-limiting practices.
So let’s keep our spirits up, and actively support this innovation in the voting process, which has the potential to forever transform our politics, for the better.
Bill Hannon, Edina