Presidential Candidate Howard Dean Touts Instant Runoff
Voting on CNN's "NewsNight" and NPR's "All Things Considered" and
Suppports National Reform Commission
Former Vermont Governor Howard
Dean has long supported instant runoff voting, which has been a
popular issue in his home state. Dr. Dean has
referenced IRV frequently during his presidential campaign. On Nov.
12, 2003, he spoke about IRV on CNN.
The following was
reported in the Hotline, a well-read political insiders' publication
of the National Journal.
"If I could do anything I wanted
and have campaign finance reform, here's what I would do. I would
have small donations allowed, $100 or less. I would have public
financing of everybody's campaign. And I would limit people's
spending, so nobody could go outside the public financing system.
And I would have instant run-off voting, so, when you had more
candidates than just two, the person with a majority of votes would
win. Now, that's what I would like to do. I believe in campaign
finance reform. But I don't believe in campaign finance reform that
gives a significant advantage to the Republican Party. And that's
what we have now" ("NewsNight," CNN, 11/12).
Dr. Dean's November
interview is also available as an mp3. In addition, he spoke
about IRV -- here called "runoff voting" -- in a November 8th
interview on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
Dr. Dean frequently mentions IRV when asked about
campaign finance reform. For example, at the Linn County Iowa
Democratic Fundraising Dinner on January 18, 2003 that was carried
on CSPAN, Dr. Dean said:
you want real campaign finance reform, here's what you've got to do,
and you have to do all three at once. You have to do public
financing of campaigns, you have to have instant runoff voting, so
Ralph Nader doesn't take the election away from Al Gore, although we
know it was really the Supreme Court that did that, and you've got
to have either a constitutional amendment or a better court that will say free
speech and political contributions are not the same thing. We can do
better than the FEC is doing right now, which is busy gutting
McCain/Feingold, which a lot of people right here worked very hard
On the Dean campaign website, his page on campaign reform concludes
with this proposal:
"A National Commission
to Strengthen American Democracy. There are many other important
ideas to explore. I would establish a commission of ordinary
Americans -- not politicians -- to consider such cutting edge ideas
as instant runoff voting, Internet voting, nonpartisan primaries, an
Election Day holiday and abolition of the Electoral College.
American patriots established our democracy and American patriots
can reinvigorate it."