Preferential voting in Maine wins

In 2016, Maine voters in a referendum chose to institute preferential (also called ranked choice) voting in their state for all elections, something that I have long advocated as the most democratic way of voting. Naturally the two main party establishments dislike the idea because it lessens their control over who should be the party nominee for general elections and also because it enables third party candidates to show their true strength since their supporters need no longer fear that their vote will be ‘wasted’ by going to a candidate who was unlikely to win.

The system in Maine, called ‘ranked choice voting’, works like this:

If there are three or more candidates in a contest, voters rank them in order of preference. If no candidate wins an outright majority, the politician with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated. The second-place votes of the people who supported the eliminated candidate are distributed to those who remain in the race. The process continues until a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote.

Back in May I wrote about how the party establishments decided to try and roll back that referendum result by having the legislature pass a law that effectively nullified the referendum results. In response, supporters of ranked-choice voting put another measure on the ballot in Tuesday’s primary election that would repeal that law. I am glad to report that it looks like supporters of preferential voting system won with 54% of the vote. A few of the other races did not have a single person with a majority and so the ranked-choice voting will be use to determine the winners there too.

The outgoing governor of the state Paul Le Page, a truly terrible person who personally benefitted from the old system because it enabled him to win without gaining a majority, bitterly opposes this system and is childishly saying that he will refuse to certify the results, a gesture that is unlikely to have any effect on the outcome.

Although it affects a relatively small state, this is a major step forward in improving the appalling election system that the US currently has.


  1. Quirky says

    This is just another attempt to justify the violence of voting and the illegitimacy of the State in the minds of the nescient and the ignorant.

  2. Quirky says

    @ ionopachys,
    Grouping together in groups in the hope that your group is larger and hence more powerful, supposedly generating an imaginary right of the majority, that is to be accepted by the minority voluntarily, but in the case where the minority or any member of the minority chooses civil disobedience the imposition of violence is not only employed so as to constrain such a one to conform with the majority will, but it must be employed so as to validate and systemicly sustain the pseudo-authority that is imagined to arise from a majority…
    The problem is the majority is rarely right; and when it is right it is only because each of its members are by Nature vested with singular authority to do whatever they might want to accomplish either singularly or as a group even in the absence of such a group.
    As Kent McManigal states, “One should never confuse government with society. Society grows naturally from the voluntary interactions of people, while government is anti-social; imposed by those who imagine themselves at the “top” onto everyone they see as beneath them.”
    Also see,
    For an article entitled “Is Voting an Act of Violence?”

  3. says

    Sounds a bit ideology-heavy, which is authoritarian. You might want to level up your arguments. I recommend Robert Paul Wolff’s In Defense of Anarchism. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    I just cannot anymore distinguish amongst all that stuff.
    Is there a website.
    If there is, should I bother?

  5. says

    No website. If you need a digital copy of Wolff there are PDFs floating around out there.

    There are several ways of refuting the authority of the state and our quirky friend seems to be angling toward flaws in voting, which is unnecessarily complicated and a weaker line of argument than refuting the authority of the state in total. But that’s not my problem.

    (It also sounds like the kind of ideological statement from authority that sovreign citizens and other conspiracy nerds like to use, which predisposes me to ignore it)

  6. Quirky says

    @ Marcus,
    TY for suggesting that I read Wolff’s treatise on Anarchy. It was an interesting read, however his initial premises defining authority missed the mark entirely. Under the heading ‘The Concept of Authority’ he stated,
    . “Politics is the exercise of the power of the state, or the attempt to influence that exercise. ….The state is a group of persons who have and exercise supreme authority within a given territory. …… Authority is the right to command, and correlatively, the right to be obeyed. It must be distinguished from power, which is the ability to compel compliance, either through the use or the threat of force. When I turn over my wallet to a thief who is holding me at gunpoint, I do so because the fate with which he threatens me is worse than the loss of money which I am made to suffer. I grant that he has power over me, but I would hardly suppose that he has authority, that is, that he has a right to demand my money and that I have an obligation to give it to him. When the government presents me with a bill for taxes, on the other hand, I pay it (normally) even though I do not wish to, and even if I think I can get away with not paying. It is, after all, the duly constituted government, and hence it has a right to tax me. It has authority over me. Sometimes, of course, I cheat the government, but even so, I acknowledge its authority, for who would speak of “cheating” a thief? ”
    Wolff fails to understand Anarchy. He writes about Anarchy but then confesses that the government is “duly constituted” having the legitimate “right” as opposed to mere “Power” to tax.
    Wolff is no Anarchist at heart. He never once mentions that the only true source of authority is either (1) de jure authorization either as a natural consequence of our human estate, or (2) the transfer of such authorization from one who possesses de jure authorization as a natural consequence of the human estate. The typical and quintessential example is the authority to defend oneself in the course of the maintenance of one’s life, one’s autonomy, and the pursuit of one’s happiness. All other legitimate human authority is inextricably intertwined therein.
    Wolff then rightly discusses the “Conflict Between Authority and Autonomy”, but then errs by suggesting that the only feasible solution lies within Democracy.
    He rightly argues that Representative Democracy and. Majoritarian Democracy fail to protect the autonomy of the individual and therefore are illegitimate. So much for what he initially claimed to be a “duly constituted” government to which he was obligated with respect to taxes.
    He then posits the absurd idea of an.”Unanimous Direct Democracy” as the only method by which the Autonomy of the individual could be protected. Later he admits the impracticability of such a State ever existing on any large scale within an industrial society.
    Repeating the worn out arguments of Rouseau and Locke, Wolff fails to defend Anarchy in any real sense. His misunderstanding of the estate of Anarchism is revealed by his statement, “The responsible man is not capricious or anarchic, for he does acknowledge himself bound by moral constraints.”
    Wolff revealingly errs here by conflating capriciousness and anarchism with irresponsibility. Anarchy, (root, an archon) just means ‘without rulers”, not rules or responsibility. His understanding of Anarchy is further belied by the statement,
    . “But so long as men believe in the authority of states, we can conclude that they possess the concept of de jure authority.”
    Imagining doesn’t make anything de jure, much less Authority.
    Authority is only de jure when it springs forth from a self-evident individual source capable of legitimately utilizing it. Group authority is illegitimate unless the members of the group individually and inherently possess such Authority.
    BTW, I do not believe in the Sovereign Citizen BS. I do recognize the inherent autonomous equality of each member of the human family.
    I sure hope I haven’t left you in the dark as to my position. Will await your reply.

  7. Quirky says

    @ my Holmie,
    I am saddened that you are unable to make a rational argument against the 1st Principles upon which Anarchy is based.
    The fact that you are still sucking air and rolling your eyes however gives me hope that you might one day either embrace those principles or at a minimum you may attempt to make a cogent argument against their application. In the process of such an attempt I believe you will ultimately be faced with your own irrationality.
    In the meantime enjoy the darkness along with the other ostriches.

  8. rjw1 says

    Yes, US electoral systems are appalling, particularly the electoral college. It’s not surprising that the country is classified as a “flawed democracy”.
    Preferential voting is a vast improvement on the primitive first-past-the-post system.

  9. Quirky says

    rjwi, all Democracies and other government models are flawed because they assume the right to compel those in the minority to relinquish their autonomy using violence as a means to that end.
    Read “The Most Dangerous Superstition”. If you are an audio fan listen to the audio while driving or whatever or you can read the text at the link below.
    Text :

    or the Audio at

    Before you are done I bet that you will discover you are an Anarchist and just don’t know it yet.

  10. Holms says

    Replace the sentence

    I am saddened that you are unable to make a rational argument against the 1st Principles upon which Anarchy is based.


    I am saddened that you are uninterested in engaging me, a rambling and passive-aggressive single-issue bore, in debate on my pet topic.

    in your comment, and it will be greatly improved in accuracy.

  11. Quirky says

    Holmie, its apparently easier for you to engage in ad hominum than to defend your unprincipled position of government by violence.
    You are not any different than the others when it comes to losing an argument if you are cornered into facing 1st Principles and the truth, something that you and other faith-based Statists refuse to do.
    So go hide with the ostriches leaving your true character exposed for all to see.

  12. Holms says

    You have just revealed that you do not know that an ad hominem is a fallacious argument. Stating an opinion of another person is not an argument, and therefore cannot be a fallacious argument, even if the opinion is negative.

  13. Quirky says

    @ Holms,
    You are correct Holms. And just as I am admitting my error on this particular point in this particular case, you would also find that I am the sort of person to do the same if I am shown to be wrong on any issue. But it is apparent that you are unable to present any facts where my general position on the legitimacy of Anarchy and the illegitimacy of the State is incorrect.
    I still await your rational response to the same should you ever get beyond your eye rolling. You now have an opportunity to show what kind of person you really are, and unless life in the company of the ostrich like humans is more fulfilling, I await learning the basis for your position and whether that basis can be shown to be virtuous..

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