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Continued: Readers Write: (May 30): Legislature, cigarette tax, ranked-choice voting, Bud Grant, Michele Bachmann

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  • Last update: May 29, 2013 - 9:32 PM

The real impact will occur if it goes national

A May 28 commentary on ranked-choice voting in the 2009 Minneapolis mayoral and City Council election (“This year, we see what RCV is all about”) concluded that it didn’t make any difference; no third-party candidate won any of the 18 races. But Minneapolis is a one-party city, and the issues are local.

The real value of ranked-choice voting is in closely disputed national elections. I hear lots of people say that both major parties are corrupt. They agree with Bob Dylan that “money doesn’t talk, it swears.” They are dismayed that, despite the calamity caused by the gory greed of big bankers, none of them have gone to jail, and they remain as rich and influential in government as ever. Large numbers of liberals and conservatives would like to rein in the military-industrial complex and even close some foreign military bases, but powerful lobbyists protect the bottom line of the myriad defense contractors. The idea of sweeping defense expenditure reductions is never even discussed, let alone enacted.

When I tell people to simply stop voting for either of the major parties, they look at me funny. They say that voting for a minor party is to throw away their vote. Under the current system this is true, but ranked-choice voting in wide-open congressional or presidential elections would give third-party candidates a chance to win or to at least make a strong showing, which would bolster future support. The Green, Libertarian and other third parties could bring badly needed reform to our country.

Dean DeHarpporte, Eden Prairie

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BUD GRANT

After all these years, still sharing his wisdom

Former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant is still teaching us life’s lessons, this time regarding the fire that destroyed much of his property in northern Wisconsin (“Wisconsin fire singes a living legend’s dream,” May 26). Mr. Grant tells us at the end of the article that we have to be thankful for what we have, that the forest will grow back, even though he won’t live to see it.

This reminded me of my encounter with Coach Grant in the early 1970s, when, as a 12-year-old returning with one of his children to his home after I had accidentally run his snowmobile into a tree (and thinking that I was really going to be in for a good, old-fashioned verbal lashing), all that mattered to him was that no one was hurt in the accident.

Thanks, Coach, for the lessons, and thanks for the four NFC championships that you brought us during a time when there were so many great NFL teams, coaches and players!

James Sampson, Mound

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MICHELE BACHMANN

Not seeking re-election, to relief of these readers

Not running? Wow, there is a God!

Francis Taranto, Minneapolis

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