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In Illinois, the ~116,000 votes for Green candidate LeAlan Jones are more than the margin between Kirk and Giannoulias. So, if you voted for Jones, there are a lot of people who will tell you that it's your fault, or try to blame you for any close vote that goes wrong in the next 6 years.

I know what it's like. I voted for Nader in 2000 (though it was a safe state).

So, if I were you, here's what I'd want to be able to tell those people.

"There is no reason that I should have to choose between voting for my hopes and voting against my fears. With Approval Voting, I could simply have voted for both Jones and Giannoulias, and whichever one got more votes would have won. Or even better, with Majority Choice Approval, I could have preferred Jones and approved Giannoulias. When nobody had a majority of preferences, the system would have counted approvals with the preferences. Giannoulias would have probably then had a majority, and he would have won.

"If you tell me that Jones, like Nader, was being selfish by even running, I can't deny it. Jones is a courageous African-American leader with an inspiring story (and unlike Nader, he hasn't repeated himself until he became a mockery), but yeah, in order to run, he had to ignore the damage he might do. That's how the system is set up; anybody who worries about that damage won't run. But call it selfish, call it courageous, it doesn't matter; the clear fact is that sometimes, third party candidates do run, some people do vote for them, and sometimes they swing the election. You can either accept that, or you can work with me to reform the system. And once the system is reformed, that will free the leaders who aren't as selfish as Nader or Jones to run.

"So, are we gonna fight about this, or are we gonna work together to fix the root of the problem?"

Originally posted to homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Poll

LeAlan Jones: hero or monster?

14%5 votes
67%23 votes
17%6 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (0+ / 0-)

    Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

    by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:30:20 AM PDT

  •  Good Try but No (8+ / 0-)

    There was a clear choice between a liar and a progressive fighter and those who chose "none of the above" clearly were stupid.

    •  OK (0+ / 0-)

      His name is LeAlan Jones, not "none of the above", not "invisible man". But other than that, you have a valid point.

      So, what are you gonna do about it? Yell at them, or fix the system?

      Not everyone cares about the same things you do. You can have a system where the people who care more about African-American senators than progressive fighters are on your side, or you can have the current system where they're your enemies and you have to call them "stupid". It's your choice.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:46:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I keep hearing that Alexi... (0+ / 0-)

      ...was progressive but no one has yet to show proof by actions that he was progressive.  Before his family bought him the Treasurer office what progressive chops did he have?  Was he a community organizer, a precinct committeeman, an alderman a ward boss, a union organizer, come on anything?  He talked a good game but had no track record.  At least not one that wasn't used in attack ads against him.

      Oh and before you say it, yes I did vote for him and I felt dirty the whole time.  I should have voted green to help them keep ballot access.

      Oh and you are correct Kirk is a liar but now he is also a senator.  If you really want to ask an interesting question ask how much blame Lisa Madigan should bear for this.  She would have won hands down but she chose to stay in the AG office.  For personal reasons! She assumed the governor would be a republican and wanted to be in a position to stop the investigations of her father is my guess.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:52:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have at various times tried to explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberalindependent28

    a runoff system to non-political friends.

    They never like it.  To them it is like turning an election into something akin to a college football poll.  The idea that their third preference might matter doesn't appeal to them.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:41:55 AM PDT

    •  Approval Voting (0+ / 0-)

      There are no runoffs in approval voting. You just vote for as many candidates as you want, and the one with the most votes wins. The only difference from the current plurality system is that you don't throw ballots with two marks on them in the trash.

      And the results are better, and more democratic, than plurality.

      Approval would not necessarily have fixed this situation. Out of the 3% Jones voters, maybe only half of them would have been willing to put Giannoulias at the same level as Jones. But it would have helped.

      Majority Choice Approval is a further improvement. It's like a simple hybrid between Plurality and Approval. You mark your first choice(s); if they get a >50% majority, game over. You also mark some extra approvals; if there was no majority for first choice, then those are added in to the totals, and the most-approved candidate wins.

      Also, I have to say that IRV (the best-known reform right now) is especially "akin to a college football poll". It's an improvement, but it's actually still subject to the "spoiler" problem all too often, and the rules are too complex. I think that FairVote, the biggest voting reform org (I've donated and phonebanked for them), made a big mistake by putting all their eggs in the IRV basket.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:07:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Too complicated (0+ / 0-)

        all of this is too complicated.  What is the point: to make things easier for third parties?  People find voting complicated enough.  As someone who has been in more than a few campaigns - I don't think people want this.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:31:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The point is to end spoilers (0+ / 0-)

          Giannoulias should be senator. You should be celebrating that, not angry. That is the point.

          Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

          by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:02:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I voted for my hopes by casting my vote for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Walt starr, Rosita, flhiii88

    Alexi Giannoulias. It wasn't just to my opposition of most things Mark Kirk stands for. I voted for Alexi b/c of what he stood for which was in stark contrast to Kirk on policy terms. I'm a very liberal person myself so on a certain level I understand the dissatisfaction many liberals have w/ the current Democratic party. It has betrayed a lot of principles over the last few years.

    However, they also accomplished a lot despite Republican obstructionism in the Senate w/ the constant filibusters. Pelosi passed a lot of bills in the House that never saw the light of day b/c of the constant 60 vote threshold that Republican filibusters brought. Democrats, of course, deserve partial blame as well for not being as unified, but Republicans were a smaller more ideologically unified group which worked to their advantage.

    There is a meaningful difference on a host of policy issues between Giannoulias and Kirk. It's just sad IL and the nation will now get to see just how negative those are in practice w/ Kirk in the Senate. Let's face it: the liberal vote that went to Jones could have put Giannoulias over the top, and it's the next day so emotions are still raw. Yes, we should work together to further a more progressive nation...

    But those who voted for Jones whether they will admit it or not did help Kirk win over Giannoulias. This is the reality of the system as it is now where 3rd party challengers continue to be spoilers for both sides. Until that changes those to the left or right who vote 3rd party often help those who they don't agree w/ on most things get in office.

    •  So? (0+ / 0-)

      My point is that blaming 3rd-party voters, no matter how true it is, just doesn't help. There will always be some people who won't be listening to you. If you'd rather be celebrating than blaming today, fix the system.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:53:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is SO true. (0+ / 0-)

      Alexi was a truly decent candidate who, as the Democratic nominee, was poised to help this state and Green Party supporters get what they really need and want.  

      We're not talking a couple of stooges here.  We HAD a decent Democrat.  These were protest votes just to "punish" Democrats for their lack of perfection.  Good going.  Feeling all principled, are you people?  

  •  oh poppycock... (0+ / 0-)

    ...there were 4 people running.  You don't hear anyone saying if Labno wasn't in the race Kirk would have gotten more.

    Gianoulias lost because he was an incredibly poor choice for a candidate.  A banker of a failed banking family which none-the-less made millions before the back was seized, and being Blago's treasurer.  And then saying stupid things like he did not know the extent of the criminal activities of his clients when he could have said 'Bankers run credit checks not background checks'

    He was just a terribly poor choice for this election cycle.  And any who disagree I point out it looks like Quinn will win even with being Blago's Lt. Governor.  If that is not proof then I don't know what is.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:44:51 AM PDT

    •  Labno did not get over 3 percent of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flhiii88

      conservative vote like Jones got over 3 percent of the liberal vote. It's a simple application of numbers, and in this case, the Green candidate contributed to Giannoulias' loss as the numbers show. Perhaps some of those liberals who voted Green will cite the very reasons you noted in your comment. However, Alexi espoused very progressive economic and social policies as well as expressing the need for a progressive caucus in the Senate. Those people who voted for Jones will find themselves in disagreement w/ a Senator Kirk far more now then they would have if we had Senator Giannoulias. So, while it might be ideologically victorious, it's application in the real world loses practicality when you realize how Kirk will vote.

      •  you make the faulty assumption that... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the people who voted green would have even voted had the choices been only kirk and Alexi.  And if Alexi could not convince people with a natural leaning to support the liberal side of the spectrum how good of a candidate could he be.  It was his job to get the vote more so than our job to vote for him.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:57:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Miles better than Kirk (0+ / 0-)

          Light years better than Kirk.  This old Nader b.s. that takes no responsibility for the havoc they cause has lost all of my respect for the Green Party.  At what point will their supporters take some personal responsibility for their actions?

          •  I agree, miles better (0+ / 0-)

            People who voted for Jones, for practical purposes, might as well not have voted. Are you as angry at the non-voters as you are at the Greens (or rather, 30 times more angry, in proportion to their numbers?)

            The difference is, you know that the Jones voters were at the polls. You know what could be done to get a lot of those votes for Giannoulias: reform the system. (In fact, by getting better candidates to run, who don't run today because they don't want to be spoilers, reform would also get more people to the polls.)

            You have right to be mad. But when you're done, help fix it so you don't have to be.

            Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

            by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:41:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  So, what are you going to do about it? (0+ / 0-)

      Please, help fix the system, so we never have to put up with just two crappy choices (and a couple of useless symbolic ones) again.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:50:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't mind the two party system... (0+ / 0-)

        ...it is all about who is on the ballot and until neopotism and money politics are wiped out it is a bad system.

        But specifically Michael Madigan has to go.  This election shows his leadership of the Illinois Democratic party is a failure.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:00:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Green (8+ / 0-)

    Green = Get Republicans Elected Every November

    Once again the Green party has shown themselves to be stooges for the Republican right.

    Remind me.  Just how was sending Kirk to the US Senate going to further the progressive ideas Greens claim to care about?

    •  Remind me (0+ / 0-)

      Just how are rhetorical questions like this going to help?

      I'm proposing concrete action that would end this fight for good. If Giannoulias had supported voting reform (here's his section on "reforming Washington"; I give him credit for taking on Citizen's United, but there's not a word on voting reform), I'd be right there with you yelling at the Jones voters. Let's end the blaming and get to work.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:16:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Self-righteousness more important than winning? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    57andFemale

    LeAlan Jones had every right to run, and the Greens had every right to take advantage of their accidental position as an established party in Illinois. But let's remember the only reason they became an established party: Rich Whitney drew 10 percent of the gubernatorial vote in 2006, when he was a safe protest vote against Rod Blagojevich  and Judy Baar Topinka.

    (NOTE: Any party drawing at least 5 percent of the vote in a statewide race gains "established party" status in Illinois, which means much easier ballot access. If a party doesn't maintain that threshold in subsequent statewide elections, it loses that status.)

    This year, however, every vote for LeAlan Jones helped elect Mark Kirk. So all those "work with me to reform the system" values you tout are fucked under a Republican/American Taliban-controlled U.S. House, and the R/AT bastards' now much tighter margin in the U.S. Senate.

    Alexi Giannoulias would have won with a majority of votes, and would be our new Senator-elect had you and your ~116,000 friends chosen to not help elect Mark Kirk.

    I hope your self-righteousness keeps you warm through 2012.

    •  Does yours? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a California voter, but I would have voted for Giannoulias. But I don't think it helps to yell at Jones voters. I think that, instead, it's better to reach out to them and work with them to end the problem. You can't do that if you're too mad, or self-righteous, to think straight.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:19:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite; angry at self-inflicted wounds. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cwholcomb

        Mazel tov, firstly, to turning back the enraged rich, and Prop 23, in California.

        But here in Illinois, the cold, hard reality is that
        thanks to the Greens, we're now living with the consequences of Senator Kirk through 2016. Thanks to progressive voters who care more for purity than the cold, hard reality that Democrats will advance their preferred agenda, even if by inches. Which is much more than Republicans ever will. We're now living with Senator Kirk thanks to those who maintain, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans.

        I'm not in a mood to be conciliatory toward those who helped fuck us over. The Greens in Illinois will revert to minor party status within another election cycle or two (whatever the trigger is), and will be as irrelevant as they were before 2006. Good riddance.

  •  Oh, please. (0+ / 0-)

    How do we "fight for reform" when we lose IL because of the Green candidate?  With who?  Rand Paul?  Toomey?  

    And yes, I know the old Nader line:  don't blame ME if enough Dem's didn't vote.  Because you're running for major public office and have no idea of how politics works and can't get your head out of your ass to wait a few years when a progressive majority would be bigger.  When you might actually get something done that you say you want done.  

    Voting for the Green candidate in IL helps defund environmental causes right now.  How's that for political principles?  

    •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

      Anybody who voted for Jones instead of voting for Giannoulias helped the Republicans by doing so. If I lived in Illinois, I would not have been one of them; I would have bitten the bullet and voted D.

      So, have a cookie.

      But as to your question, "how do we fight for reform": you should contact the Midwest Democracy Center at (312) 587-7060. Or form your own group. Call your state or municipal legislators, if they are democratic, and use this election to show them how starting a local reform is in their interest. Write a letter to the editor, using this example.

      Personally, I think that getting angry at Jones voters doesn't help. But that doesn't mean I'm telling you to calm down; I'm just telling you (as well as the Jones voters) to get to work fixing the problem. There's a simple solution, but it is a long road to get it passed, so it's not time for arguing.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:31:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is one defensible position (0+ / 0-)

      for voting green: you don't think there is any difference between Democrats and republicans.

      But few people who support them actually believe this...

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:35:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reductio ad absurdem (0+ / 0-)

        Who do you vote: Hitler or Bush? There's 100 non-fascist candidates, but you know that the vote will be so split between them that none of them have a chance of winning. Or, as somebody else posited, what if the "Myanmar" government paid some Khmer Rouge candidate to run against them, would Aung Sung Su Kyi then vote for them as the lesser evil?

        If the system is broken, there has to be some point at which the chance of systemic reform is worth the downside of not supporting the lesser evil. For me, Kirk vs. Giannoulias would not have been that point; but I absulutely defend people's right to think that it was. It's a valid reason, and it doesn't require thinking the Ds and Rs are the same.

        Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

        by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:53:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow that's a really great excuse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    57andFemale

    If we lived under a completely imaginary voting system, instead of the one in reality, this would not have hurt the country at all!

    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do. " Oscar Gamble, circa 1980

    by Spider Stumbled on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:19:43 AM PDT

    •  Touche (0+ / 0-)

      If Jones voters had seen things the way I do, instead of the way they do, they would have voted for Giannoulias!

      So, we both lost last night. What I'm saying is, I think my contrafactual is potentially more productive. Voting reform is possible - it's passed in several cities around the country, and has come close in a couple of states; with further work it will make further progress - and a world where nobody ever votes for a third party, isn't.

      Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

      by homunq on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:59:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are so right (0+ / 0-)

    And it saddens me how many people are just picking a fight with you out of ignorance or anger.

    Approval voting isn't complicated, and it actually would give better results, weaken the hold of the two-party system, lessen the effect of incumbency, and make (or perhaps just "let") elections be more focused on issues.

    Yelling at third-party voters, yelling at third-party candidates, and burying your head in the sand to say "nothing can help", won't.

    Approval voting would have gotten us Alaska, too: McAdams had 50% favorability, while both Republicans had something in the mid-30s. But fearful Dems voted for the less-insane Rep.  If they could have voted for both of the candidates they were comfortable with, it wouldn't even have been close.

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