Thursday, November 10, 2011

City progs lose again

City progressives lost again in Tuesday's election. That's apparently the way they like it, since they insist on supporting the Ranked Choice Voting system that ensured their defeat. The front page story in this morning's Chronicle got it just right:

Under San Francisco's traditional voting system, interim Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor John Avalos would be headed for a December runoff in which stark contrasts could be drawn between the moderate longtime bureaucrat and the progressive former social worker. It would have been interesting, but it's not going to happen. Under San Francisco's ranked-choice voting system---in use for the first time in a competitive mayor's race---Lee won with less than a third of first-place votes. Ironically, it's Lee's supporters who are calling for the end of ranked-choice voting. And Avalos and his backers believe it's a beneficial system that should continue.

Exactly. The RCV system is one of those bogus "good government" measures pushed by city progressives that does nothing but sow confusion. RCV does save money on runoffs, but since when have San Francisco progressives worried about saving money? They just hate to admit they're wrong about an issue, much like their chronic state of denial on homelessness and the Central Subway.

The last serious chance for city progs to elect a mayor was in 2003, when Matt Gonzalez gave Gavin Newom a close race. Interestingly, the big issue in that race was homelessness. Newsom had a well-defined position on the issue with Care Not Cash, and Gonzalez vaporized about the "root causes" of homelessness, suggesting that Newsom was a meanie who was waging war on the poor.

There wasn't a single important issue dominating this campaign---thanks in part to RCV---but a runoff campaign might have sparked some debate on important policies, though Avalos doesn't differ with Lee on significant city policies, like the Central Subway, "smart[sic] growth," and anti-carism.

The best thing about this election: David Chiu, Bevan Dufty, and Dennis Herrera all lost decisively.

We're still stuck with Chiu and Herrera, but we can hope that Bevan Dufty's political career in San Francisco is over. 

Good too to see Scott Wiener's gratuitous Prop. E---a solution in search of a problem---soundly rejected by city voters.

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At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 4:24 PM, Anonymous IRV Rocks! said...

I would have loved to see Avalos as Mayor but IRV had nothing to do with his losing. A run-off election would have wasted everyone's time and money and given us the exact same result - Lee would have won again.

I know IRV is new but come on, it's hardly confusing. Rank your top 3 - easy! I would think you'd be for IRV - it would have allowed voters in 2000 to vote for Nader first and Gore second and we wouldn't have had the debacle in Florida that allowed Bush to win.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

What crap! A traditional runoff is the only way you progs are ever going to elect a mayor. If Miyamoto and Cunnie hadn't divided the vote, you wouldn't have even elected Mirkarimi sheriff, assuming he has been elected.

Finding one candidate to vote for is hard enough in every election I've ever participated in, and I'm an old man. It's simply sappy to assume that voters should have to be willing or able to make these distinctions between one moron/hustler and another.

You simply can't fine-tune elections this way. There's nothing wrong with electing people with a simple majority of votes. RCV is nothing but goofball prog meddling.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

By the way, it was the Supreme Court that elected Bush in 2000.

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous IRV Rocks! said...

You can't have "splitting the votes" with IRV. If people want one or the other then they vote Miyamoto first and Cunnie second or vice versa. Whomever had less votes would have picked up the other's. That happened of course but not enough to overcome the votes for Mirkarimi. Perfect example of IRV being the better system of voting. Just like it would have gotten Gore elected in 2000.

But I know "blah blah, it's crap, the progressives like it - I have to be against it, bike lanes are ruining the world, I hate change, blah blah blah". Guess you gotta be consistent with your incessant NIMBYism.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You aren't looking at the numbers, which clearly show Cunnie and Miyamoto combined got 55% to Mirkarimi's 38%. They split the public safety vote, since both are way more qualified than Mirkarimi.

And Cunnie entered the campaign late, which allowed Mirkarimi to get more votes than either of them. If he hadn't entered the race---and his entry surprised everyone---Miyamoto would have won easily.

If Mirkarimi wins this election, he will be another poster boy for repealing Ranked Choice Voting, just like Quan in Oakland and Supervisor Cohen here in SF.

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12,000 people who voted for Chris Cunnie left the second spot blank. If they had put Miyamoto in the second spot, he wins. But the "non-progs" were too stupid to figure IRV out so Mirkarimi wins.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

If it had been an election without the RCV, either Miyamoto or Cunnie would have been in a runoff with Mirkarimi. RCV makes elections more complicated than they should be in a misguided attempt to give people choices. RCV seems to be another consequence of the self-esteem movement: everyone's a winner, everyone gets a trophy!

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous IRV Rocks! said...

Those numbers are just the first round numbers. Have a look at the actual IRV tally. In the second round 13,119 people who wanted Cunnie preferred Mirkarimi over Miyamoto. That gave Mirkarimi the win. Your theory of Cunnie or Miyamoto being the "public safety vote" doesn't hold water.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

But that's my point, that "just the first round numbers" is all we need, plus a runoff if necessary. It would have been necessary in this race, and Mirkarimi would have had a tough race, since his record doesn't endear him to the cops and deputies.

63% of voters voted for someone other than Mirkarimi, but he wins anyhow. Why is that more democratic than a runoff?

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous IRV Rocks! said...

So why would a runoff change the outcome? In a runoff it would be Mirkarimi and Miyamoto. The Cunnie and Wong voters now have to change their vote and vote for one of those two. And as can be seen from IRV tally, enough of those voters preferred Mirkarimi to give him the majority. Why vote twice when you don't you have to? It's just a waste of time.

At 8:55 PM, Anonymous IRV Rocks! said...

Oops I mean Cunnie not Miyamoto in the runoff but the argument stands.

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Martin Zehr said...

Being a registered Green and living in Avalos's District I couldn't bring myself to vote for him while the District continues to deteriorate. I have never seen anything as complicated in my life as voting in San Francisco. With all the candidates running in San Francisco it's no wonder so many people don't even use 2nd and 3rd choices.

You are on target. Let's admit it though, progs prefer things their way,regardless of the facts or the consequences.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

A big question that might have been answered in a runoff between Lee and Avalos: What exactly is the progressive agenda, and how does it differ from Lee's City Hall consensus agenda? Since Avalos supports the Central Subway and the Smart Growth, transit corridors development policies, hard to see any major policy differences.

Progressives can always claim the anti-car bike agenda, but Lee has also endorsed it.

At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then the bike plan could of been kind of on the ballot and you would have gotten your wish. Shoot!

Now we'll just ram it through with no questions asked.


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