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Ranked Choice Voting Is the Democratic Solution to the “Spoiler Effect”

Ranked Choice Voting Is the Democratic Solution to the “Spoiler Effect”

We need to address the flaws in our political system that restrict freedom. One big flaw is the “spoiler effect,” which is created by the so-called two-party system. Ranked Choice Voting can fix that.

In reality, the United States has many political parties — though you don’t see them in general elections, which always feature a Republican pitted against a Democrat. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to safely vote for a new perspective? To express your conviction for necessary change? To give the ol’ Republicans and Democrats something to think about? To help grow the viability of a 3rd, 4th, or 5th political party?

Sadly, even while we live in a democratic nation, American citizens often restrain themselves from voting for their favored candidate or political platform. They are unsure their candidate will win in the end, and fear that by withholding their vote from a better known lesser-of-two-evils, they may enable the worst-of-two-evils to win the election. This conundrum also exists when candidates belong to the same political party, as in primary elections.

No wonder things never change.

But Ranked Choice Voting puts an end to the “spoiler effect.” People can vote for their wisest choice, and their conscience. Other benefits include:

  • Winning candidates get support from the majority of voters.
  • Campaigns become more positive and civil (candidates don’t want to speak poorly of their opponents, when they’re trying to earn the second-choice votes of their opponents’ supporters).

In addition, Ranked Choice Voting would prevent great American public servants from being stigmatized for daring to run for office — like Ralph Nader. Even Bernie Sanders, who joined the Democrat Party in order to avoid the possibility of being a spoiler, still gets flack for “causing” Hillary Clinton to lose the General Election to Trump. Bernie Sanders never denigrated his opponent during the Primary, and supported her for the General Election, precisely because he wanted Hillary Clinton to be his followers’ second-choice. Too bad we didn’t have Ranked Choice Voting.

Whomever wins political office must be careful to respond and adapt to the inevitable flow of changing circumstances and unforeseen events that occur in the world. Adapting in order to survive is incredibly difficult, on many levels. But doesn’t a free-flowing democracy have a great advantage for survival, or to thrive? A democracy has many voices to be heard, and it allows the best ideas to be debated. The freedom inherent in democracy is the most essential characteristic that is required for America’s endurance. Ranked Choice Voting supports that freedom.

The video below from Represent.Us explains how Ranked Choice Voting works by ensuring your vote for a second-choice candidate will count. Want to get on board? Add your name to support Ranked Choice Voting. Removing the “spoiler effect” from our elections is a powerful stride toward greater political freedom and democracy.

“What if you never had to vote for the lesser of two evils again? Ranked Choice Voting is a small tweak that would be a huge step towards fixing our broken elections.” ~ Represent.Us

Let’s be more democratic.



About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. stuartbramhall

    Most countries – other the US, UK and Canada – have some type of proportional representation voting or ranked choice voting. They have both here in New Zealand. First past the post voting, as the old system is called, simply doesn’t reflect the views of the majority of voters, owing to pressure to vote for the lesser evil.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Yes, you’d think proportional representation voting would be the first thing a democratic country would aspire too. However, the U.S. system nearly assures that the The Establishment will never change.


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