Dean's Endorsement of IRV
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean has long supported
instant runoff voting, which has been a popular issue in his
home state. Dr. Dean referenced IRV
frequently during his presidential campaign and more recently
published an article
advocating IRV in presidential primaries. 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
"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 12th CNN
interview is also available as an mp3 .
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:
"If 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 for."
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