Instant runoff solves issue of spoilers
Published January 16th 2006 in Barre-Montpeiler Times-Argus (in Vermont's capital city)
I read your Jan. 12 editorial on David Zuckerman and how he may be a potential spoiler if he runs for Congress. I share your sentiments that splitting the Democratic and Progressive vote may well result in continuing the very dangerous policies and actions of the Bush administration and those who support him. However, your concern does not go far enough. If you suggest David Zuckerman step aside for the good of the country, you must also speak out and work vigorously and unequivocally for institution of the instant runoff voting system into our political system.

If this country is to sustain and foster the values of democracy and be a model for the rest of the world, we must foster vigorous and diverse political debate. This is not done by asking worthy candidates not to run for office and thereby impoverish political debate. We desperately need to cure the mounting ills in this country � the lack of transparencyy in government, the mounting power of corporations that no longer serve communities and states, the abuse of money in the campaign process and lobbying of Congress, and the lack of regard for the environment on which we all depend for our livelihood and survival.

We will make no inroads to solving these and other critical issues unless voters hear vibrant debate and can vote their consciences without having to second-guess the political outcome. With instant runoff voting in place, such a decision would be completely unnecessary because if no candidate wins a majority, the voters' second choice comes into play. The political process would be more vibrant and democracy would be much healthier and the will of the people would be heard loud and clear.

The political process of this great country should be such that Zuckerman should not be asked to make the decision that you ask. But until the political process is changed it must be asked. It behooves all political parties to support the Instant Runoff Voting process so such a diminishment of our political process does not occur.

Richard Czaplinski