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Letters: Quit rewarding third-party shenanigans. Adopt ranked choice voting.

1November 2020

As disappointed as I am that Republicans in Minnesota’s second congressional district recruited a candidate for another party specifically to draw votes away from their Democratic rival, I’m more disappointed that we still allow ourselves to use an election system that rewards these kinds of shenanigans. Regardless of which parties are involved, these tactics are unfair to candidates who are genuinely trying to earn votes and build winning coalitions, and they undermine what the majority of voters want.

There’s a clear solution to this gamesmanship: Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If no one earns a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate with the least support is eliminated and those votes are reallocated to second choices and so on, until one candidate earns a majority. RCV would eliminate the strategy of recruiting spoiler candidates. Moreover, it would allow voters to express their full preference without fear of helping elect the candidate they like the least — or voting for their second choice to avoid wasting their vote.

Let’s fix these “spoiler vote” problems for the good of all Minnesotans and adopt Ranked Choice Voting for races up and down the ballot.

Dana Bacon, Rosemount

 

Blame Joe, too

After reading “If you’re going to blame one, blame both,” a letter to the editor, Oct 28, I thought we should take it one step further.

Joe Biden has been assuring us in his campaign ads and appearances that he has had for many months “The Plan” to combat the pandemic.

If his plan is that much better (so far, all reports on his plan have been a mirror image of what is being done now, with the exception of a nationwide mask mandate) then why has he kept the details to himself?

He either doesn’t have a better plan or he doesn’t give a hoot about the number of people dying every day from the virus.

Blame Joe, too.

Gary Schraml, Lindstrom

 

What happened in Hugo

I have a problem with the article regarding John Thompson and his DFL-endorsed race for House District 67A.

I live in Hugo. I know what took place. John Thompson was not “talking” about burning down my town. He was threatening and ranting about burning it down. He was a madman consumed by hate and rage. He was out of control. He was also surrounded by over 100 people he brought with him — supporters, sound amplifiers and security. It is highly doubtful anyone got close enough for him to be spat upon.

The following weekend a group tried to hold a counter-protest to talk about ways to disengage from the violence and peacefully protest. The politicians scheduled to come were asked not to. The reason? They were threatened with violence.

Alisan Engle, Hugo

 

Unity?

The more the money that flows into political advertising, the less truthful is the advertising. A billboard located west of the Cities on I-94 suggested that if you want unity, vote Democrat.

If you have been paying attention to politics over the past four years, and beyond you realize it is the Democratic Party that is focusing on the bifurcation of our nation.

The party seems to be pitting one group against another. Rich vs. poor, male vs. female, minority vs. white, gay vs. straight, urban vs. rural, old vs. young, these are but a small sample.

Don’t expect any mention of “unity” to be made by the Democratic Party after the elections, because it is not in their DNA.

Jerry Wynn, St. Paul

 

If this is who we are …

President Trump and his enablers have been downplaying the severity of the COVID 19 pandemic by saying “it’s just killing old people,” like that makes it OK. For one thing, that’s just not true. Though the vast majority of deaths are of the elderly, COVID has killed all ages, and many who survive suffer from ongoing health effects.

But the main reason I am writing is to remind people of just who they are talking about. Grandpa and grandma, mom and dad, aunts and uncles, and each one of us if we’re lucky enough to hang around that long. Does life become less valuable at a certain age? If so, my value is dropping fast! What does pro-life even mean if the elderly are sacrificed so casually?

My dad and I had our differences over the years, but the best year I spent with him was his last as he suffered and died of cancer. I cherish that time I got to spend with him as he recalled stories of his time as a real cowboy in Montana and many other things I never knew about him.

It saddens me now to think of the many elderly dying alone every day because of COVID. If this is now who we are, willing to sacrifice our elderly for the ups and downs of the stock market, then I don’t know who we are anymore.

Greg Kvaal, Mendota Heights

 

Big smiles, but …

Wait a minute. Joe Biden, Tina Smith, John Thompson and others say they will work across the aisle and will “unite” people. Unite us in doing what?

Are we all going to unite to burn down the suburbs? Defund the police?  Allow neighborhood drugstores to be looted and burned? Be taxed out of our homes? There is a lot to NOT be “united” about.  A lot of these politicians have big smiles and sugared lies that you know you must not believe.

Jerry Monson, Mahtomedi

 

False assumption

How does the writer (“Which is it?”, Oct. 28) know what “our Supreme Court nominee” believes, “that gays will all go to hell”? She has never made such a statement, nor do I think she would believe such as a Catholic, and the writer has made a patently false assumption in so stating. Just how fake news is born on the left.

R.J. Houck, Roseville

 

Hail and farewell

Frederick Melo wrote an excellent article on the end of the Cities’ last weekly newspaper.

Hail and farewell, City Pages.

L. Stephen Borer, St. Paul

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