Metro Councilor-elect Ashton Simpson: Why I’m voting ‘yes’ on charter reform

It’s eye-opening to see exactly which interests have the most direct access to the halls of power, and which entities encourage or prohibit bold leadership. And, as an exhausted dad on the campaign trail, I certainly learned about the structural limitations that make it harder for many Portlanders to ever consider running for office.

It’s with this background that I’m endorsing Measure 26-228, the campaign to reform Portland’s City Charter on the November ballot.


As a nonprofit director, a two-time candidate, and now a Metro Councilor-elect, I’ve spent the last five years with a front row seat to how local governments, electoral campaigns, and advocacy movements interact. Each of these experiences have given me opportunities to reflect on both where we’ve made strides towards transportation justice, as well as what systemic barriers are blocking us from solving ongoing challenges including investing in East Portland, reducing traffic fatalities, and ensuring more Portlanders live in safe, walkable neighborhoods. It’s eye-opening to see exactly which interests have the most direct access to the halls of power, and which entities encourage or prohibit bold leadership. And, as an exhausted dad on the campaign trail, I certainly learned about the structural limitations that make it harder for many Portlanders to ever consider running for office.

It’s with this background that I’m endorsing Measure 26-228, the campaign to reform Portland’s City Charter on the November ballot.

Anyone who wants to see safer streets, more bike lanes, and a government more responsive to the campaigns of active transportation advocates should be voting to adopt a new charter for Portland’s city government. Despite wholly inaccurate rhetoric from the measure’s skeptics, Portland’s charter reform consists of three simple components; professional, centralized management of our bureaus, ranking candidates in future city elections, and creation of four City Council districts each electing three representatives. Each of these changes will not only make our local government more efficient and accountable, but each will also make it easier for us to make Portland a more safe, walkable, equitable city for everyone. 

Anyone who wants to see safer streets, more bike lanes, and a government more responsive to the campaigns of active transportation advocates should be voting to adopt a new charter for Portland’s city government.

Professional bureau management pays massive dividends

It will be a complete game-changer for city bureaus to possess the long-term stability of oversight from a nonpolitical City Administrator. PBOT, for example, has been led by four different Commissioners over the past six years; and in our current charter the Mayor could change commissioner assignments despite election outcomes, a fifth could take over post election. The constant churn of leadership slows our ability to build long-term campaigns for the bold, visionary changes to our streets that we need. Eliminating the commission form of government will also resolve political tensions that have historically discouraged collaboration between bureaus. We need better coordination so that Portland’s bureaus work together to, for example, build bioswales, crosswalks, and improved lighting simultaneously without months of red tape.

It’s worth noting that under our current system, nobody running for City Council knows what bureaus they’ll be assigned by the Mayor. Even a candidate who prioritizes transportation improvements currently can’t promise they’ll have any power to enact change. Measure 26-228 means that all of the 12 Commissioners who get elected have power to influence transportation policy. 

Ranked choice voting cultivates new leadership likely to support transportation reform

Have you noticed how many of our campaigns for safer streets, affordable housing, and better transit service seem so popular with the public, but somehow rarely translate to the priorities of city leadership? Research shows that elections run with ranked choice voting are more likely to elect women, people of color, the working class, and renters. Under Measure 26-228, City Council will better reflect the full preferences of Portlanders.

Not every person who gets elected with this model will share all of your values – in fact, I’d expect plenty of opportunities for all sorts of Portlanders to win elected office. But that is actually the point – greater representation of perspectives will bring new voices to city hall. Many of them will care deeply about safer streets in every neighborhood.

East Portland needs better representation for true investment 

In my work with Oregon Walks (who endorsed Measure 26-228 this month), I’ve seen the disconnect between the city’s decision makers who mostly live in the central city and the communities in east county who continue to struggle. It’s hard to articulate the hopelessness that so many East Portlanders feel with regard to gun violence, economic hardship, rising rents, and anxiety around crime and homelessness. East Portland is home to so many of Portland’s communities of color(including my family), and there’s so much work to be done to tackle lingering inequalities.

Historically and currently, East Portland has lacked the political clout to demand investments to address these challenges. Only two people living east of 82nd Avenue have ever been elected to City Council in Portland’s history. Measure 26-228 would ensure that East Portland would not only have three elected officials from East Portland – they would directly answer to an EastPortland-specific electorate. Thanks to multi-member districts, it’s likely that at least one (if not all three!) East Portland councilors would incorporate mobility justice and safer streets into their political platform. If we want to reverse the trend of skyrocketing traffic fatalities, East Portland in particular needs substantial political representation to get the investments in safer streets that are commensurate with the challenge.

I don’t want to claim that charter reform will fix all our problems – we must be clear-eyed about the challenges Portland faces. But passing Measure 26-228 to empower everyday Portlanders to tell city council it’s time to advance reforms for transportation and racial justice is a crucial first step. We must empower city hall to be more effective, transparent, and accountable.  In my forthcoming role as Metro Councilor, I’m excited to collaborate with a reinvigorated city government that is better prepared and equipped to fight for safer streets and walkable communities for all. 

Join me in voting Yes on Measure 26-228.


Ashton Simpson was elected to the Metro Council in May 2022 to represent District 1, and his term begins in January.  Ashton is the former Executive Director of Oregon Walks, the state’s pedestrian advocacy organization.

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Guest Opinion

Guest opinions do not necessarily reflect the position of BikePortland. Our goal is to amplify community voices. If you have something to share and want us to share it on our platform, contact Publisher & Editor Jonathan Maus at maus.jonathan@gmail.com.

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J_R
J_R
1 year ago

Portland’s commission form of government is a disaster and needs to be replaced.

I have previously stated on this forum that I would vote for the charter amendment, but I am beginning to waiver. Willamette Week has a good endorsement editorial on the subject.

We’ve elected some really poor commissioners in recent years. I’m worried that the new proposal would guarantee that a few of those would be elected because appealing to voters on a single issue (which might not even be within the city’s scope of services) might get them a spot on the council thus diverting the council’s and city’s time and resources from needed focus.

I’m conflicted….

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  J_R

Perhaps you can get a more certain outcome by voting no now and then supporting the alternative proposal that will be on the May ballot if this one fails. That one is similar, but with a less “interesting” voting system.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

You could do that if you want to replicate the scandal happening in LA currently

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

You’re gonna have to connect some dots for me there. How does a no vote on this mess lead to racist city counselors?

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Lost in the falderal of their comments towards Bonin’s child was the fact that they were discussing how to gerrymander the city’s districts to disempower Black voters, move economic assets into their districts, and punish Nithya Raman by removing core constituencies (renters) from her district. This type of gerrymandering, not for partisan gain but to gain political power, entrench class privilege, hurt “rival” racial groups, and for personal gain is absolutely endemic to the single member districts Mapps is proposing. LA got caught on tape, but the same thing is playing out in Chicago, SF, and Seattle right now.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

If you’re right, it would be better to vote no now and then again in May. But the May decision is still a ways off, so I can reflect on that a bit more before I commit.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Explain that logic?

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

At-large elections avoid all the gerrymandering and related problems that are convulsing LA. The idea that 4 districts somehow avoids the problem but 7 doesn’t (as some would have you believe) is a bit of a reach.

Portland has clearly demonstrated we are willing to elect minority and women and gay candidates without all the problems LA is facing.

I am undecided on whether districts would be better than at-large voting, but I am pretty sure that the proposal that’s on the ballot now is a bad idea. If it fails, I have time to think about how to vote on the May proposal.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

It’s not the four districts that prevents gerrymandering, it’s the single transferable vote that prevents gerrymandering.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

I see. But we don’t have a gerrymandering problem now, so it feels like you’ve found a solution in search of a problem.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

No, but we do have a major issue with geographic representation, which is why people are proposing districts to begin with. To lay this out clearly:

Portlanders’ problems with the current system are largely two-fold, a) the commissioner system does a poor job at administration and, b) the at-large plurality voting system does a poor job of representing people geographically.

To solve the first issue, the proposal moves to a city manager system, with the manager overseen by a directly elected mayor.

To solve the second issue requires districts. Single member districts have the various problems I have outlined above. Multi-member districts largely ameliorate those problems. However, plurality voting in multi-member districts tends to allow very disproportionate representation (see Baltimore). Proportional Representation, of which STV is the most widely used and well known, addresses this issue.

Jonathan K
Jonathan K
1 year ago
Reply to  J_R

What WW and other commentators don’t understand is that ranked choice voting rewards moderation. Each district would attract at least two candidates for each “lane”–say mod/right, mod/left, and progressive. It’s pretty likely that each “lane” will each get a seat. But the candidates most likely to win are those who can pick up votes from other lanes in second and third rounds. The inflexible ideological candidates will be pushed out.

It’s actually a very good system. It’s been used for over 100 years in Ireland and Australia.

The Mapps proposal being pushed by the existing political class is built for career politicians (who want predictable elections) and NIMBYs.

Vote yes!

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan K

Each district would attract at least two candidates…

Since this particular voting system has never been tried before (not quite like this), and nothing like it in Portland, you really don’t know what would happen; your certainty about who would run, what coalitions would develop, and how things would play out is misplaced.

A lot of Hardesty supporters say that Gonzales is the inflexible ideological candidate, and he’s going to win in a landslide. The proposed system would not push him out. The only difference is Vadim and Hardesty would also be elected, and a lot of people don’t want a system where they can’t get rid of a bad incumbent.

Maybe WW and others do understand what they’re talking about.

Jonathan K
Jonathan K
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Did you read my comment? It’s been in continuous use in Australia and Ireland for over 100 years. And it’s hardly rocket science to predict that three seats will attract six viable candidates. It’s how it plays out in multi-member districts around the world.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan K

Of course I read your comment. I tried for a bit, but it’s very hard to figure out how the Irish and Australian systems work compared to what is on the ballot. Even if they’re identical (and I do know, at least, that Ireland’s system is not), it doesn’t mean they will work the same way in practice given the rather large differences in cultural context between there and here.

If charter reform passes, maybe things will work out great. It’s also possible it will be a disaster. Most likely it will be something in the middle, and we’ll muddle on just as we always have, except with more chaotic and expensive politics.

No matter what happens, it’s likely that Portland’s problems will remain intractable no matter who is elected or how they’re chosen.

Please do me a favor. If the things folks here care about do get a lot better because of charter reform, please come back and say you told me so. I would love to be proven wrong.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

This city “muddled” on just fine until 5 years ago basically.
We picked some really bad candidates.. the system worked fine until then.
Why are the problems here considered intractable?
They were not\y intractable under Vera Katz with the same size city.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

RE Intractable: It’s a lot harder to dig yourself out of a deep hole, and the hole we’re in is a lot deeper than it was in Katz’s time.

Regardless, I see no reason to think we’ll get better candidates under a different system. Proponents claim we will, but that’s just wishful thinking.

Dwk
Dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Actually they are not.
Get people off the streets and pick up the garbage.
Thats all the average person in the city wants.
Wheeler and council are just about as dense and over their heads as they could be.
incompetent.
This is not that hard. They have a billion dollar budget.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Watts

Watts, there is research showing that multi-member districts increase the number of women that take office, as well as do a better job of representing issues that rarely find a voice on the City Council.

From the linked Sightline article (which itself links to academic research):

“results apply to Portlanders who are in the minority for any number of reasons: small business owners, people who are dependent on transit, those who get around by bike, youth, or parents of school-age children”

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

I’ve stopped reading Sightline articles. They’re like Cascade Institute — they only pay people to write things that conform to a specific viewpoint. I find that type of conformity and intellectual stifling insufferable.

In recent years, we’ve had no problems electing women or minority candidates. I see no reason why that would change, with or without charter reform.

I also do NOT want a bunch of single-issue candidates running the city.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

The city has changed considerably in the past five years – it’s not just the bad candidates. The whole landscape is different. Portland needs professionals running a modern, complicated city, not a bunch of amateurs.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

But these are well-intentioned amateurs who are going to change the world!

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

And regardless of how well it works at solving the stated issues with our current system, it is absolutely guaranteed to cost millions of dollars more than our current system. Does anyone believe that the problems in this city can be solved by hiring more bureaucrats?

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Chris I

The City Budget Office estimates the cost of implementing the measure is about $900,000 to $8.7 million annually, representing 0.1% to 1.4% of Portland’s discretionary funding.

Discretionary funds are approximately 10% of the overall city budget. So that comes to 0.01% to 0.14% of the total city budget.

The City Budget Office did not try to calculate the savings of running the city more efficiency.

https://www.portland.gov/omf/charter-review-commission/proposedballotmeasure

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

The cost estimate description on the page you link to is pretty vague. Do you know if this estimate includes campaign finance matches for candidates?

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Yes, actually I do. A city manager will be a major improvement to the city. Additional city councilors will allow Portlanders to be better represented in local government. Very small city councils lording over large areas and populations is a Canadian/American outlier globally. Look at cities with comparable populations: Zurich, 125 councilors; Lyon, 150 (for the Metropole); Edinburgh, 63; Dublin, 63; Florence, 36; Dortmund, 90…it goes on.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

I would feel better if they took the current city councilor salaries, pooled them together, and then divided it among the new councilors equally. This doesn’t have to cost extra.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

To me, councilor salaries are much ado about nothing. It’s a fraction of a fraction of the city budget. I would like our councilors to be sufficiently well compensated that they don’t need to have day jobs, like our State Legislators do. Seattle pays between 110-140K, Vancouver BC pays 90-103k, Edmonton 114k. Edinburgh and Dublin pay about 20k a year, but with 63 councilors each they have far more people to spread to work around to.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

If you want quality people in your government, paying them nothing is not how you get it. Just like the Oregon State legislature, we pay so little that it all but guarantees that only those that are independently wealthy can hold office.

Paying a wage equal to the qualifications we’d like in city leaders is worth it when we are currently paying PPB officers $160k a year to sit in their cars in the park.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Municipal elections and districts in Ireland are the same as what’s proposed here. Multi-member districts, single transferable vote.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  J_R

I have no idea where this comes from. We get terrible candidates because we end up having to vote for the PPB/PBA candidate or the homelessness industrial complex candidate.

This new system will actual normal people to be viable and encourage non-political insiders to run. We will get better candidates

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Non-insiders like Chloe Eudaly and Rene Gonzalez?

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Is this comment implying that Gonzalez isn’t an insider? He’s well connected due to his involvement with the pro-covid group ED300, which he founded as PAC to elect anti-lgbtq and anti-immigrant candidates across the state. He’s so connected that he’s already engaged in political grift and he’s not even in office yet.

He’s well funded by right-wing interests which is how he affords all of his right-wing political infrastructure.He’s basically the definition of political insider, someone whom most people didn’t know existed two years ago who has all the political connections and corporate backing needed to fund an expensive campaign.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I am not really a Rene defender but his stance on Covid and education is pretty accepted now by Dr. Fauci and others to be correct.
Hindsight in a 100 year pandemic is easy but it is clear that schools were left closed too long and that view is now widely accepted.
Rene was correct on this issue.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin
Reply to  dwk

I think it’s really easy to be right when you are not in government actually trying to balance all the complexities and competing forces therein.

Comparing newbies to incumbents is apples and oranges and it’s one of my pet peeves how a lot of people don’t really think critically about the differences! I think we have to keep in mind that vast difference in being a policymaker in the trenches, versus being on the sidelines where it’s easy to lob critiques.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago

I agree. I took issue with cc_rider’s sentiment that political outsiders are better candidates. Anyone who has lived here more than a few years remembers Eudaly.

Jerri Blanc
Jerri Blanc
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Or Iannarone, a narrowly avoided disaster.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago

Judgement matters whether you are a newbie or not.
Rene was correct on a big issue and spoke out at the time to a lot of skepticism.
Thats what a good citizen does.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin
Reply to  dwk

Yeah I agree. But my point is that judgments are extremely easy to make when you are an outsider who will suffer little to no consequence if you make a bad one.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

I am not really a Rene defender but his stance on Covid and education is pretty accepted now by Dr. Fauci and others to be correct.

Fauci thinks we should have fully reopened schools in October 2020? I’m interested in reading that, got a source?

Hindsight in a 100 year pandemic is easy but it is clear that schools were left closed too long and that view is now widely accepted.

Hindsight is everything. It’s not like Rene was banging the ‘return to school’ drum based on science. He simply didn’t care how it affected students families and educators.

It’s not “widely accepted’ that we should have fully opened schools in October of 2020. I’m not sure where that’s coming from.

Ninja edit* To be clear, Fauci did advocate for opening schools in fall 2020 as long as appropriate testing was in place, which it wasn’t for most schools in the country.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Correct sort of, Fauci came out for opening schools in Jan. 2021..
3 months after Oct. 2020 and now says he was wrong and we should have opened sooner. So what does that mean?
A month, 2 months,
You are really splitting hairs on a timeline to not give Gonzalez credit for being right.
Educators are shocked now by the test scores so there is clear evidence that sooner would have been better.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Correct sort of, Fauci came out for opening schools in Jan. 2021..

3 months after Oct. 2020 and now says he was wrong and we should have opened sooner.

This is really easy to google, but here you go

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/03/health/us-coronavirus-monday

From August 3rd, 2020

And here is one from June 2020

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/03/us/fauci-schools-reopening-coronavirus/index.html

Of course, Fauci was always talking about kids going back to school with proper safety measures put in to action. Safety measures that most schools that did reopen in fall of 2020 did not have in place. And if you remember when schools in Florida and other backwards states reopened they saw infections sky rocket.

You are really splitting hairs on a timeline to not give Gonzalez credit for being right.

Right about what? Like I said, its not like Rene was advocating based on science. He simply didn’t care about the health and safety of teachers, admins, students and their families.

I also don’t think he was right. You keep talking about Fauci changing his mind, but you haven’t posted anything that supports that. I’m not seeing the data that says Oregonian children are more impacted than other states by the global pandemic.

Educators are shocked now by the test scores so there is clear evidence that sooner would have been better.

Test scores fell all over the nation. You’re using a lot of “facts” but not really providing a lot of citations.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

You present zero facts that he was wrong.. If you want to argue that the shutdown of schools for as long as the were in this country (not Europe for the most part),was a good thing, go ahead.
BTW, Is Mingus Mapps a racist for not supporting your fav candidate like you imply everyone else is here?
Just asking…

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

You present zero facts that he was wrong..

That’s not how this works. You are asserting something, so you provide the proof.

BTW, Is Mingus Mapps a racist for not supporting your fav candidate like you imply everyone else is here?

Uhhh what? I think you’re seeing things.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

which he founded as PAC to elect anti-lgbtq and anti-immigrant candidates across the state

Your accusations here can’t be substantiated.

Pete S
Pete S
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

They absolutely can.

https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2022/10/portland-commissioner-jo-ann-hardesty-supporters-skewer-challenger-rene-gonzalez-over-his-groups-conservative-ties.html

Rene’s PAC endorsed 17 candidates with far right ties.

You can, of course, take him at his word that he only cared about reopening schools. However, it demonstrates extremely poor judgement to funnel money to anti-LGBT ideologues just because they wanted to open schools.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete S

Again, no actual evidence. The comment that the PAC was “founded to elect anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant candidates across the state” cannot be substantiated. It requires assumptions on his intent, and also the assumption that he’s a liar, since he has said it wasn’t the case.

Hardesty supporters are desperate to link him to the extreme right, because they know she’s about to lose this election.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Hardesty supporters are desperate to link him to the extreme right, because they know she’s about to lose this election.

Bruh, his PAC actively funded far right candidates that were openly anti-lgbtq and anti-immigrant. No one is trying to “link” him, he has linked himself. His ads don’t help. He could easily campaign alongside Drazan without skipping a beat. He sought out and won the endorsement of the far-right Portland Police Association.

Rene is a right-winger who knows you can’t win as an open right-winger. Follow your heart, but a vote for Rene is a vote for the GOP

Dwk
Dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

So now if you vote against Joann you are not a racist but just a right wing nut who supports Drazan…
Hyperbole and nonsense have already been trademarked, sorry.
Gonzalez will get 70% or close.
We are all right wing nuts now according to whoever you are.
You spend half your posts complaining about the status quo and the rest defending it.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Dwk

So now if you vote against Joann you are not a racist but just a right wing nut who supports Drazan…

Rene Gonzalez is a right-winger. I haven’t called anyone a racist in this context so I’m not sure where this wallowing is coming from. He is objectively funded by right-wing entities and people, he sought out the endorsement of right-wing groups like PPA, and has used his PAC to push candidates who hold far right views.

If you feel comfortable voting for a right-winger in our current climate, thats for you to decide. I personally feel like no one who works with republicans should be trusted.

Hyperbole and nonsense have already been trademarked, sorry.

Gonzalez will get 70% or close.

I think Gonzalez will probably win but get no more than 54% of the vote. I’d guess there are a lot of people who are misguided enough to vote for Johnson who will also vote for Rene.

You spend half your posts complaining about the status quo and the rest defending it.

I’m not defending the status quo. I’m not even a Hardesty supporter. I’m still undecided if I’m going to vote in that race at all because I find Hardesty’s views on sweeps untenable. My biggest concerns about Rene aren’t what he will do per se, but rather what he will stop. I expect he will work hard to get rid of the PSR program and undermine the 80% of Portlanders who voted for police accountability due to his relationship with the far-right PPA. He is in it to make money and build his political career, I don’t expect much change to the status quo if he gets elected

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Why would anyone want to get rid of Portland Street Response? I don’t see any constituency for that viewpoint.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Why would anyone want to get rid of Portland Street Response? I don’t see any constituency for that viewpoint.

If and when Rene get’s elected, its not like the public will keep paying attention. Portlanders are some of the least engaged citizens in the country.

The Portland Police Bureau/Association don’t like PSR as it threatens to take work from their memebers. Its the same reason the PPA opposed the creation of the PS3 classification and the expansion of speed cameras.

The police don’t want safety, they want to have the leverage to continue making $160k to do nothing.

Jerri Blanc
Jerri Blanc
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

I do, PSR has been staggeringly ineffectual. It’s essentially a black hole into which legit complaints / reports get dismissed, same as the “Campsite Reporting” site.

Funny how homelessness just keeps getting worse and worse, and more people die of violence on the streets every day.

Jerri Blanc
Jerri Blanc
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

The SEIU / city manufactured scandal was their “Hail Mary”, but that too has now backfired.

Can’t wait for Hardesty to be gone and we get some actual leadership at PBOT and PFR. Hardesty was never interested in anything beyond abolishing law enforcement.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Pro-covid, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, right wing, grifting insider. That’s quite a list for such a short post.

Gonzales is also connected through his involvement in kids soccer.

Dark times ahead.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  J_R

Completely agree. We are going to get more ideologues willing to go scorched-earth for singular issues rather than adept administrators who can actually manage the responsibilities of a city.

Will
Will
1 year ago

Under this proposal the city council doesn’t administer or manage, they legislate.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 year ago

This horribly written measure will allow someone to be elected to office with less than 25% of the vote with 3 council members per district. This will flood our city government with all kind of crazies and extremists (you think it’s bad now?). With three council members per district there will be even less accountability as there will not be one person in charge or directly responsible for anything and our city will fall into even more disfunction. Please, if you care about the future of Portland vote no and wait until the spring for the better ballot measure.

Amit Zinman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

but decisions will be made by coalitions, which is good.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

“less than 25% of the vote” is a gross misrepresentation of reality. The truth is, you can only win with “25% of the vote” if you also were chosen by voters as a second or third choice or whatever. You can’t get elected without wide appeal.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 year ago
Reply to  John

With three council seats per district one could easily be elected with only 25% of the vote. The whole point of this new measure is that people will be able to win without wide appeal

Damien
Damien
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

Or to put it another way, this system will mean that at least 75%+3 of voters will get representation, as opposed to the 50%+1 with single-member (whether at-large or geographic district) districts.

I don’t know about you, but I look at 75%+3 being represented as better than that 50%+1 being represented (and that’s being generous and ignoring the filtering from the primary).

Buster
Buster
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

I think 25% of people in one of four large districts is a heck of a lot of people. You seem to be defining “wide appeal” to be the same as “50% plus one” which is exactly what proportional representation is trying to remedy. Getting the support of 25% or more people is plenty wide enough appeal for me.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Buster

“I think 25% of people in one of four large districts is a heck of a lot of people.”

It’s 25% of 25% of the population. Or 1/16th the total number of voters, which might mean 1/32nd of the population in a good year.

Buster
Buster
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Uh…what? Do you think voter turnout is only 25%? It’s around 75% last time I checked.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

No, with three council seats one would need 100/3 ~= 33%+1 of the votes to win in the first round. 25% isn’t a magic number, it’s the number you need if there are four seats.
So because 3 people are being elected, you need over a third of the votes to be in the top 3. Very simple math.

Most likely the vote won’t be perfectly split among 3 candidates, so the excess votes for the winners of the first round get distributed to the other candidates. Nobody gets elected that doesn’t have wide appeal.

And (similar to what Buster said), if you have 33% vote in a district, that’s a LOT of appeal! That’s not fringe by any stretch of the imagination.

Furthermore, if instead of electing multiple reps in a district you just elect one and have more districts like in Mapps’ bad proposal, that doesn’t somehow become more democratic. Then you’re just having people win by a bare majority of a smaller slice of the population. So actually, even less wide appeal. More likely to elect fringe candidates, etc.

I think in an ideal system, we would have a way to not fill the seats at all. Like if there were three seats to fill and three candidates, I would like a system where they won’t necessarily all get elected. I.e. we’re left with an empty seat. This new system (nor Mapps’) doesn’t address that problem. But that’s also a problem with the current system where someone wins even if nobody likes the candidates because there is no way to vote “no”.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

Your math is wrong. It’s 25% in the first round with three seats. Just like it’s 50% in the first round with one.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Ahh, shoot, that’s right. It’s whatever number is needed such that you are guaranteed to be in the top N. With 25% of the vote, three other candidates can’t each be higher than you, so you are guaranteed to be in the top with 25%.

It still seems like the right outcome. I mean, it’s always a compromise. If instead of three seats, you split it into three more (gerry-manderable) districts, you’re just choosing a representative with even less percent of the vote, you’re just drawing an arbitrary line to make the denominator smaller. But it’s still a smaller slice of Portland being represented. So you potentially get hyper-local appeal.

With this system, instead you have larger districts (so less hyper-local appeal) but a voter doesn’t have to feel like they’re throwing their vote away if they don’t vote for the mass appeal candidate. And that’s the problem that I have with our current system, so I look forward to the new system on this ballot.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

If you get 25% of the first place votes and no second place votes, you still win.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Sorry, my comment was unclear. You can’t win with less than 25% of the vote, a piece of misinformation from Jay Cee I was trying to correct.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

Anyone who wants to see safer streets, more bike lanes, and a government more responsive to the campaigns of active transportation advocates should be voting to adopt a new charter for Portland’s city government.

For someone complaining about “wholly inaccurate rhetoric”, this is a pretty wild (and entirely unsubstantiated) promise; none of these outcomes is an any way a given, or even more likely than not.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

You may be right, but I’m still voting yes. I see what we have now and it’s a disaster. Anything that puts professionals in charge will be an improvement.

soren
soren
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

Anything that puts professionals in charge

The idea that unelected bureau/city managers will create a more participatory and democratic city is wishful thinking. Nations with high levels of democracy and social welfare tend to have politicized city bureaus.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

What the new system accomplishes is better representation of who the voters want to elect. That is substantiated. And by extension, the hope is that this will mean more movements on issues people care about like the quoted ones.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

The same chain of reasoning could mean more movement on those issues in directions you do not like.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

At best, that’s just an argument to be afraid of change. If you agree we need change, we have to do things that make it easier to make change. If you don’t think we need change, well, I just think you’re wrong.

But additionally, that relies on a fundamentally pessimistic view of the people and distrust of their ability to elect representatives. This new system does not make it possible for candidates who only appeal to a small minority to win. It just doesn’t, that’s not how it works. Anybody who appeals to a quarter of voters is not fringe (and you can’t win with less than that). Candidates that win in this new system have widespread support. They have to be actually liked and approved by a huge part of the population. What’s different with the new system is that you no longer have to vote only for who you think is most likely to win and dislike the least. It’s not as much of a prisoners dilemma. You can indicate on your ballot who you actually want to win and it makes a difference.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

Fundamentally pessimistic view of the people and distrust of their ability to elect representatives.

Looking around at who is getting elected, I’d have to say I’m guilty as charged.

Anybody who appeals to a quarter of voters is not fringe (and you can’t win with less than that). 

You can win with fewer than a quarter of the votes; I’ve laid out the math elsewhere. Many candidates I’d consider fringe have garnered more votes than that, even under the current system that punishes voting for fringe candidates.

I agree with you about the fundamental benefits of RCV, and would support using one of the many of the systems in place around the US, but not this particular goulash of a different ideas.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Ok, so you just don’t believe in democracy. You want some benevolent dictators? Because if not, you have to trust people to choose things.

You can win with fewer than a quarter of the votes; I’ve laid out the math elsewhere.

You can’t except in the case where not enough candidates run that people like. This is the world we live in today though, it’s not any different. And it isn’t any different from Mapps’ system. If we don’t have a clause that allows empty seats, the person with the most votes wins under any system.

But regardless, what you “consider fringe” is not actually what “fringe” means. 25% isn’t a fringe candidate end of story.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

you just don’t believe in democracy.

You’ll have to dig deeper to make that ad hominem stick. I lack confidence in our ability to pick good leaders in this era (look around… do you seriously disagree with me?) It does not follow that I would prefer a dictator.

Quite the opposite; I support more involvement of the public throughout the system to a degree that many people here oppose, and can point to numerous posts to prove it.

I even oppose this ballot measure that would insulate public officials from political oversight.

25% isn’t a fringe candidate end of story.

Someone who 25% of people would pick as their 3rd or 4th choice, and no one else would pick at all, might well be fringe. And that’s who, in some cases, is going to be governing the city.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

ad hominem

Listen buddy, unless you are proposing a wholesale overhaul without any representatives, either a pure direct democracy (which sounds interesting, anarchists would be on board) or authoritarian, you have to trust people to elect other people. Any amount of sentiment, which you expressed, where you doubt the ability of voters to elect people, is an implied distrust of representative democracy. I admit, that could be either authoritarianism or anarchy (direct democracy).

Someone who 25% of people would pick as their 3rd or 4th choice, and no one else would pick at all, might well be fringe.

Again, as I have explained and you have failed to address, this is not a change from what exists now in our city government (and country for that matter). The more I see people misunderstand and come up with unlikely scenarios, the more it becomes obvious that the system on this ballot is not just a mild improvement, but vastly better than what we have or what anyone is suggesting. It’s really enlightening.

That 25%, again in the most extremely statistically unlikely outcome, is the Xth most popular candidate of the ones running. This is NOT a different way of electing people than we do today with our current system. We have a system, today, where someone can be elected with not just “25%” of the vote, but actually with 0%+1 of the vote. Certainly, we can elect council people and mayors – today – with 25% or less of the public support. You just don’t see it because the only way to not show support is either not vote or not vote in that race. You think Wheeler (for example) won because most voters wanted him to win? I’m afraid that’s not the case.

This new system does not make it any more likely *at all* to elect someone without popular support. Until you address how it somehow does, I’ll have to take that as agreement.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

This new system does not make it any more likely *at all* to elect someone without popular support.

Maybe this just boils down to differing definitions. To me, “popular support” does not mean the third or fourth or fifth choice of a quarter of the population in a district (which is what will happen in a race with two strong candidates and a bunch of bad ones, which is hardly implausible). If you disagree, and think that does qualify as “popular support”, then may we just think about that concept differently and we can both retire to our corners confident we’re right.

In the current system, it’s hard to get elected without more than half of the first place votes (though Wheeler managed it). Even with a number of write in candidates, the winner will finish in the top two of first ranked votes in one election, then get more first ranked votes than any other candidate in a second, so I don’t see a mechanism where the winner does not have a credible claim for “popular support”.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

I think this is still mischaracterizing things though. If we have an election where we are choosing 4 candidates, and 10 candidates are running, the 4th most popular one wins a seat. It isn’t any different than what we have today. It’s as if we did 4 different elections, and by the 4th electiion with the 3 more popular ones already elected, that 4th most popular candidate would win. Nobody really likes them, but if you ask voters to choose between this group, that person wins the seat. This isn’t weird or novel, that’s just what an election is.

So it’s real, actual popular support in as much as any of our elected officials have popular support. When we have an election where nobody really likes any of the options (often the case), voters still choose whichever one they like the best. That doesn’t mean they’re actually popular, it means given these choices, here is who we prefer.

Doing this STV system just does that same thing but in one election instead of 4.

In the current system, it’s hard to get elected without more than half of the first place votes

This claim I disagree with. You’re taking “50% of the vote” to mean the same as 50% support. But as we all know turnout is affected by the candidates running and all sorts of other factors. When you’re down to only candidates nobody really cares for, all the voters who don’t really care probably don’t even vote, or they leave the space blank on the ballot. This STV system just makes that more obvious. Someone can win with under 25% support because nobody cares enough one way or another to rank the remaining candidates.
This is yet another benefit of this system. It truly lets the intention of the voters come through. If we do have some candidate win with low support, that’s a clear indication that their position is weak as hell. Nobody really cared. But we had to choose somebody and they were the most popular, which is the same outcome we would get if we ran an election under our current system with the same set of candidates after having elected the more popular ones.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago

Yes!

John L
John L
1 year ago

In May 2023, Commissioner Mapps and other commissioners will put an alternative charter reform proposal on the ballot for us to vote on.

It is basically the current 26-228 proposal BUT with more districts (seven, I think) each electing a single commissioner. There will be an option for Portlander to vote for electing those commissioners through rank choice voting (RCV) or through the current primary-general system.

I’m going to vote “no” on 26-228 and vote “yes” on the May 2023 measure.

Why? Because 26-228’s “single transferable vote multi-member district” (STD MMD) is s recipe for chaos and gridlock at best, and throws out “one person one vote” and “majority governs” principles.

Here’s how that works. Suppose in your district, 65% of voters choose candidate “A”, 20% choose “B”, 10% choose “C”, and the remaining 5% choose other candidates. Under 26-228, A and B and C will all be elected to council representing the district, with equal council votes.

A, despite having 65% of voters’ support, will be outvoted on council by B and C, even though together they got only 30% combined. So the minority, not the majority, governs.

For voters who chose A, their vote is only worth a fraction of the votes by the voters who choose B, and an even smaller fraction of the votes by voters who chose C. So no more one person one vote.

Council will be controlled by candidates who lost the popular vote, in some cases who could barely get 10% of voters to pick them. It will be impossible to get anything done if it is remotely controversial. Candidates with extreme positions will get elected, because the “bar” to get on council will be so low. Once elected, with the free publicity and paid staff of an incumbent, those candidates will be very hard to dislodge. So, chaos and gridlock.

Not a single city or town in the US uses STD MMD. It’s a terrible idea. The Oregonian, Willamette Week, the Skanner all oppose it – and that’s a pretty wide ideological range.

I say, let STD MMD be tried by some town that isn’t in desperate need of decisive action to right its sinking ship. Portland can’t be the guinea pig. We have enough problems to tackle.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  John L

Your description of multi-member vote tallying is incorrect.

John L
John L
1 year ago

I had to simplify the example, because it will take a bunch of computer code and multiple calculation iterations (probably preceded by additional rule-making plus litigation, and followed by more litigation) to actually process an election under 26-228. The actual text of the charter amendment is below and it is the opposite of simple.

But essentially, votes for the top candidates in excess of the bare minimum threshold needed to elect them in the first round get passed down (“transferred”) to the remaining candidates pro rata to the votes they originally got. If none of the remaining candidates’ votes including transferred votes get them over the threshold, then the bottom candidate is eliminated, votes are re-transferred, the calculation is re-run, etc, until someone gets elected. Then those elected candidates’ excess votes get transferred down pro-rata to the remaining candidates, and the iterative elimination, calculations, re-transfer, etc, is done again, until a third candidate finally gets elected.

This is, by the way, my other reason for voting “no”: 26-228 sets up a stupefyingly complicated election process. Lawyers will be happy and judges will weep.

Folks can read the language for themselves:

“Councilors of each district are elected using a proportional method of ranked choice voting known as single transferable vote. This method provides for the candidates to be elected on the basis of a threshold. The threshold is determined by the number of seats to be filled plus one, so that the threshold is the lowest number of votes a candidate must receive to win a seat such that no more candidates can win election than there are seats to be filled. In the initial round, the number of first rankings received by each candidate is the candidate’s vote count. Candidates whose vote counts are at least the threshold are declared elected. Votes that counted for elected candidates in excess of the threshold are called surplus. If fewer candidates are elected in the initial round than there are seats to be filled, the surplus percentage of all votes for the candidates who received a surplus are transferred to the next-highest ranked candidates in proportion to the total numbers of next-highest rankings they received on the ballots that counted for the elected candidate. If, after all surpluses have been counted in a round, no additional candidates have a vote count that is at least the threshold, the candidates with the lowest vote counts are successively eliminated in rounds and their votes are counted as votes for the candidates who are ranked next highest on the ballots that had been counted for the eliminated candidates, until another candidate has a vote count that is at least the threshold or until the number of candidates remaining equals the number of seats that have not yet been filled. The process of transferring surpluses of elected candidates and eliminating candidates continues until all positions are elected.”

Buster
Buster
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

If you only like one candidate, and you don’t want your vote to be transferred to another candidate, you can just choose to not vote for more than one candidate. Nobody is forcing you to vote for anybody. It’s just giving people the choice to express their preferences in a more nuanced way.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  John L

“Bunch of computer code”, “multiple iterations?” My goodness. Lions and tigers and bears.

I was a computer programmer in the 1980s and 90s. Soldering irons, oscilloscopes, assembly language.

This algorithm is simple, it could be given to students in a first semester programming class.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago

This algorithm is simple, it could be given to students in a first semester programming class.

Well sure, but if we can’t complain about the alogorithm, how could we pretend voting for your top three candidates is a complicated system?

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

LOL!

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

how could we pretend voting for your top three candidates is a complicated system?

No need to pretend — that’s not how the system would work.

You don’t vote for 3. You rank all candidates, your vote gets counted once (unless your ballot becomes exhausted, in which case it isn’t counted at all).

Ranking is cognitively hard, especially when you don’t have much information about your choices.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor
Reply to  Watts

You rank as many as you want, including just one.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Ranking is cognitively hard? For whom? Compared to what? Most people could tell you their top five movies, foods, destinations, friends, pets, etc. As for “not much information” you’ll have as much information under the proposed system as you would in any primary or final round election.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

“Ranking is cognitively hard? For whom?”

People.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/rating-vs-ranking/

It’s one reason why voting dweebs prefer rating candidates rather than ranking them. There are lots of other reasons that rating is superior.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

But as has been pointed out to you a few times, you’re spreading lies about what’s on the ballot. Or generously, spreading ignorance, although doing it repeatedly after being corrected edges closer to the former.
You don’t have to rank everyone. Choosing some candidates you like and putting them in order is not cognitively hard. Everyone can do it. And get this: you don’t even have to. You could just choose your favorite.

But it is simply not difficult for people to not choose people who they don’t want to be in office. People understand that. “I don’t like that guy, I’m not voting for him”. Pretty easy.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

It is true you don’t need to rank everyone to have your first choice(s) tallied, but if there is someone you strongly dislike, you’d better rank everyone and put them last, otherwise your ballot could become exhausted and your preference discarded.

So we’re both right — you should fill out your entire ballot, but you can quit part way if it becomes too taxing and it will still be counted under some (or even many) scenarios.

You think I’m “spreading lies” and “spreading ignorance” by saying ranking is hard (a concept I learned from reading a book on voting systems, by the way). I think you are oversimplifying a complex process to make it look better than it is.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

You don’t vote for 3. You rank all candidates, your vote gets counted once (unless your ballot becomes exhausted, in which case it isn’t counted at all).

This is what you said, and as you just admitted is not true. That’s either lies or ignorance.

Will
Will
1 year ago

It doesn’t even require a computer, they just speed things along. You can do the count by hand with a pencil and some long division. Ireland has been doing this for 100 years, far before computers or even electric calculators.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

Uhh, that’s actually a bad example, we all know the Irish are mostly mentats.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

Uh, TMI, plus obfuscation. Get to the point dude!

Jonathan K
Jonathan K
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

It’s opposed by all those who are currently running the show. What bigger endorsement is needed?

But to allay concerns, it’s hardly a novel system. Australia and Ireland use it for national elections, and have for decades. It’s also used in Scotland and New Zealand.

The 65% example wouldn’t actually happen. Other candidates would jump in to split such a huge majority along its fault lines.

But say 65% did actually vote together in the first round. They would have a HUGE influence on subsequent rounds, as their second and third picks get proportionally redistributed.

Above all, multi member districts allow for more than two political parties/movements. There’s a reason the US has two parties and European countries have many. In the US, a Green party that gets 25% of the votes gets zero seats. In Ireland, a Green party that gets 25% of the vote gets about 25% of the seats. Proportional representation is good.

Buster
Buster
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

How would somebody get elected with only 10% support? The threshold is 25%, so literally at least 25% of people need to have selected that candidate for one of their votes. Your math is completely, egregiously wrong. You seem to be missing the fact that people have multiple votes they can cast. So in your example, candidates B and C would only get elected if a ton of people who voted for candidate A also voted for B and/or C. Nobody is forcing them to do so, they chose to vote for those candidates. You don’t even have to use all your votes if you don’t like B or C.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

One other item to consider is that, with 4 districts, some part of the east side is going to get tacked on to the west side district (not enough people live on the west side to create their own district). Proposed areas are St John’s, inner SE, and part of deeper SE. It would really suck to be in one of those areas, with not enough population to swing a seat, and all the reps “representing” their west side voters, who have a very different view of the city.

There’s probably a reason why the commission did not choose a district map before the election. Some area is going to get screwed.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

I don’t have recent numbers so I’m going off the city’s 2010 map of population by neighborhood coalition:

A) Total pop from that map: 573, 865
B) Total Westside: 115,741
C) District Size: 143,466
D) C-B: 27,725 (Eastsiders added to Westside)
E) Quota: 35,866

So, the added Eastsiders don’t have the absolute numbers to win in a first round vote. However, NWNW is 50,139 people, largely clustered around downtown. I’d argue that the Inner Eastside (CEID, Lloyd, Eliot, Buckman, Hosford-Abernathy) has as much in common with downtown as it does with Lent, Brentwood-Darlington or Cully). To me, it wouldn’t be crazy for them to be in the same district. St. John’s is a different story, although they have common issues with Linnton and might like to have more of a voice with regards to NWID since that sends a lot of truck traffic through their neighborhood.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

I’d argue that the Inner Eastside (CEID, Lloyd, Eliot, Buckman, Hosford-Abernathy) has as much in common with downtown as it does with Lent, Brentwood-Darlington or Cully)

As someone who lives here, I wouldn’t.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Why would the map have to choose the river as one of the dividing lines?

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

It clearly doesn’t have to, but the river is one of the most important dividing lines in Portland (another might be I-205). I’d want to see any district boundaries follow these “natural” delineators.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

So your scenario where they somehow have to count far east side people with west side isn’t actually based in reality, and they could just as easily put the boundary a few blocks east of the river? Glad we could clear that up.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

Suppose in your district, 65% of voters choose candidate “A”, 20% choose “B”, 10% choose “C”, and the remaining 5% choose other candidates. Under 26-228, A and B and C will all be elected to council representing the district, with equal council votes.

Nope. In that example A has 32% “excess votes”. That’s a lot. Those excess would have their votes distributed among the other candidates they chose on the ballot. If those excess votes still end up with B and C being the winners, that’s the actual, democratic will of the voters. Not some miscarriage of democracy.

The process is not that complicated. You could do the math in your head but your scenario didn’t actually have the full ballot in it (i.e. the votes for other candidates).

And who is to say there is a simple system that is more democratic than our usual system? The simplest to understand would be no votes and just all appointed leaders. Very simple, not good. By necessity, anything that is better than our current system is going to be more complex. That’s not a reason not to do it.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

Since this is Oregon, rest assured that we will have to vote on this at least twice if not more before it becomes a reality. What we are voting for now is likely not the final version, but if it fails there may not be a second chance, so my recommendation is to vote yes now to keep the process alive.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  FDUP

You’ve got it backwards: if this passes, it will be the final version (unless the voting system gets struck down by the courts for violating state law, which is a possibility). If it fails, we’ll vote on a different version in May.

If you prefer the new voting system, vote yes now. If you want a more traditional district system, vote now now, then yes in May.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

Last thought – Portland isn’t the ‘guinea pig’, they are the last city standing using the outdated *biased and racist* commissioner system. The current system results in all kinds of unintended negative consequences, which is the reality we are living with now.

It sounds to me like you are more afraid of change than you are willing to take a chance on something new and most likely better.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  FDUP

Elected officials managing bureaus is biased and racist? That’s quite a claim.

RipCityBassWorks
RipCityBassWorks
1 year ago
Reply to  John L

I’m a huge no on such an “alternative measure”:

1). Why should Mapps and the PBA have seats at the table but not the Portlanders who put in the hard work for years to get the current proposal on the ballot?
2). The lack of proportional representation means districts would be super easy to gerrymander. The result would be the same as we have now: a city council that disproportionately represents monied interests instead of the people. The sheer dysfunction at the federal level should show that we badly need to move away from the concept of single member districts.
3). Having elections to fundamentally change Portland’s form of government that often sets an awful precedent: anytime a commissioner doesn’t get what they want, they could refer a new measure to the ballot. That would leave the bureaus constly trying to implement the changes instead of doing their jobs.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

1) Charter commission is getting first bite at the apple. They’ve got all the “seats at the table”, and only if Portlanders reject this proposal would the Mapps proposal move forward.

2) Any time you have districts that don’t follow “natural boundaries”, you have the possibility of gerrymandering. Proportional representation doesn’t eliminate that.

3) No single commissioner can put an item on the ballot (without collecting signatures), only a majority of city council working together, so not sure what the problem is here. Charter reform wouldn’t change this.

Buster
Buster
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

The point of gerrymandering is to protect a “safe seat” from competition. But with three people running for the seat at the same time, that becomes almost impossible. So I don’t see how gerrymandering would be a problem in a multi-member system. In a single-member district system, there would be much more incentive to draw the districts to protect specific Council members’ seats.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Buster

There are lots of reasons for gerrymandering, one of which is protecting incumbents. I could easily see boundaries shifted around to make it better for incumbents, though I don’t actually I think it will happen that much — incumbents will have such a huge advantage in this new system that it will really be unnecessary.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Incumbency bias is lower in STV systems than in single member systems with plurality voting.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

Every experienced political person I know who has looked at this proposal has concluded otherwise. With potentially large fields, an early lead will build momentum, so incumbents and those with money will have a distinct advantage.

We see that in our current system as well; who can even name one the candidates for Hardesty’s seat other than the top 3? But it will be worse if an incumbent only needs to finish in the top 3. If they can’t muster that, they’re a pretty sad sack.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts
Damien
Damien
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

Thanks for this, Will. This debate does certainly seem lopsided in terms of evidence versus…hmm, well, doom-casting, let’s say.

I know people try to push past that by focusing on the combination of the reforms as the thing, which is admittedly not widely used, but there’s no logical reason to believe multiple good governance pieces, when combined, will produce some otherwise terrible result. Don’t get me wrong: That could be the case. But so far I’ve yet to see such predictions based on anything more than fear.

Whereas, we have plenty of evidence for the poor results of single-member seats using plurality voting, which is what we have today and what Mapps is maybe/possibly proposing for May, potentially.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

That paper compared the Irish system to the American system, where party affiliation is critical and many elections are determined in the primaries, not Portland’s non-partisan system which may or may not share the same characteristics.

So the people expressing concern may be empirically incorrect, or they may be right.

It is also worth adding the general note of caution when making comparisons like this: Irish politics is very different than American politics, and even if we had the same system, it would be shocking if things played out the same way.

Damien
Damien
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Genuinely curious, Watts: You’re spending a lot of time calling out claims, criticizing evidence, all in service of the “no” position – have you applied as critical a lens to that position? What evidence do you have that the reform proposal will produce worse results than what we have today, or even Mapps’ proposal?

I mean, it tracks, risk aversion fits with your conservative nature. But you’re appearing to argue at a higher level than that, but…inconsistently, let’s say, on this topic. You’re right to point out that American politics is different than Irish politics, with lots of “mays” and “ifs”, and yet you’re implying that it’ll be worse – what evidence is there to support that? Is it just the testimony of politicos in your circles? Are they similar to the long list of former elected officials who came through and only know the current system, and thus are naturally biased toward it compared to the alternative on the ballot?

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Damien

 have you applied as critical a lens to that position?

Fair question. We have a pretty good idea of how the current system works in practice, so I don’t need a lot of research to tell me. I don’t claim it works well, but think the one on the ballot would be more chaotic while producing similarly mediocre outcomes.

For context, you and I would likely agree on 90% of policy goals. I can think of a few areas where I may be more radical than you. Where I differ from many progressives is I don’t believe the ends justify the means, and I think solutions need to be rooted in reality.

I don’t think our problem (in Portland, at least) is “the system”, and I think replacing it is going to be expensive, in terms of time, energy, attention, and money, and in the end, we’ll be back roughly where we are, but with several lost years that we really can’t afford. (Search this page for the word “muddle” to see my best assessment). I get that folks are excited about changing the system, but I think they’ve greatly discounted the costs and way overstated the benefits.

I offer no specific evidence to point to to bolster my belief, except that’s the way the world generally works. . New things can be an exciting distraction from the challenging aspects of life, but those challenging issues remain, waiting to be solved. Charter reform addresses none of them.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Your argument boils down to, “electoral reform distracts from the vibe shift”? Is that about right?

Damien
Damien
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

I appreciate this response Watts.

“We have a pretty good idea of how the current system works in practice, so I don’t need a lot of research to tell me.”

We do, and as you agree, it doesn’t work very well. And neither does Mapps’ alternative, which we also have plenty of lived experience with – single-member seats (whether at large or district) elected by plurality (I’m going to abbreviate this to SM+P henceforth) is how the US Congress is elected and that’s a clear dumpster fire. The UK is on its third prime minister in almost as many weeks, and they also elect their government with SM+P. Etc and so on.

“…I think solutions need to be rooted in reality.”

And perhaps this is where that conservatism comes in – if you start with what’s “reality”, today, you’ve already ceded a lot of ground. Tomorrow’s “reality” is what we push it to be – we’ve got plenty of historical precedent for things being (politically) impossible until they weren’t.

“I don’t think our problem (in Portland, at least) is ‘the system’…”

Here we we’ve got a pretty strong disagreement, mostly. I don’t think the system is *the* problem (because there’s never just one), but it’s certainly *a big* problem. The system is significant in forming the incentive structure, and the incentive structure informs outcomes and candidate quality. Sure, there are always breakout exceptions, but nobody can look at our political institutions overall and conclude the trend isn’t trending to the gutter.

SM+P is fairly widely regarded as the least representative way to elect representatives (to those who dig into this stuff, anyway, which is admittedly not a relatively large group). Which is what we use today, and what Mapps is proposing for tomorrow. Mapps’ districts will ensure more *geographic representation*, which is a positive over today’s system. But that’s probably it – the candidates from each district will very likely be the same quality/class/etc as we see today, because that’s what SM+P incentivizes.

Now, to be fair, and this is something you’ve brought up: Another big part of the incentive structure is money in politics. If I had a magic wand, it’d be these two aspects I’d wave, and then feel confident that any further failings of governance really just are the people’s fault. This reform doesn’t touch that at all. I think Portland’s matching funds is trying to address that (I think it goes in the right direction, though I prefer voucher systems. I also wonder if it isn’t already running into loophole situations like Gonzalez’s recent shenanigans). Which is to say, we can improve the system all we like, but if we don’t also address this aspect (and again, maybe Portland adequately has – TBD), I don’t know that candidate quality will change as much as I’d like it to.

Would I be correct in that we agree candidate quality (/electing quality candidates) is at the root of all this, as regardless of the system or the funding, poor candidates are going to lead us to poor outcomes? It’s on that note that I am for this reform, because I expect to see a much greater diversity in candidates – specifically *class* diversity, which I think is the single most important missing component in this republic we call the United States (from the federal level on down). People worry about “fringe” candidates, I think without realizing, that those may very well just be the regular-Sam-working-class candidates who don’t have the financial backing to break through in a SM+P system, but whose voice is underrepresented or not at all represented in the halls of power, yet shared by a significant proportion of the population. The proposal gives those voices a better shot here in Portland. A guarantee? Certainly not. Will those voices even be constructive in governing the city? No guarantee there either, but to what some of the other folks are challenging you on, if we’ve concluded we can’t trust our neighbors to vote “well”, we’re hosed regardless.

More democracy, in other words. And sure, maybe we can’t hack that. Honestly, I believe the United States population can’t (give me enough time and I’ll probably conclude the same for the rest of mankind, but I’m not quite that bleak just yet). Most of my advocacy, to paraphrase Chris Hedges, is in the “I fight Nazis not because I think I can win, I fight Nazis because they’re Nazis” camp – just trying to slow the entropy enough to hopefully reach old age before nuclear armageddon, a turbo-charged ebola/measles hybrid escapes from a lab or something, or I’m just rundown in a poorly designed ODOT/PBOT facility by a Ford F1Billion, rather than thinking there’s a stable, prosperous end state at the end of the rainbow somewhere.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Heaven forbid someone make a direct comparison between two anglophone countries using the two political electoral systems in question. That’s just crazy

To your point about the politics being different, have you considered that the political differences arose from the different electoral systems?

But for your edification:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261379421000512

Feel free to read the papers cited here, they’re all very interesting.

“Evidence from democracies all over the world demonstrates that candidates who have held office in the previous legislative cycle perform significantly better in the next election(s) compared to candidates who did not hold office (De la Cuesta and Imai, 2016). This incumbency advantage has been identified in different electoral systems, with the vast majority of studies analyzing the effect of incumbency in plurality settings (e.g., Lee 2008; Eggers et al., 2015). A growing body of work focuses on the impact of incumbency under proportional representation (PR). In contrast to plurality systems, the empirical evidence regarding incumbency effects in PR systems is mixed. While some studies find evidence of an incumbency advantage under PR (e.g., Dahlgaard, 2016; Kotakorpi et al., 2017; Redmond and Regan, 2015; Fiva and Smith, 2018), others do not (e.g., Hyytinen et al., 2018; Golden and Picci, 2015).”

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

Nevermind what actually happens in real life, lets listen to what randos on twitter experts I definitely talked to dreamed up.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

The Mapps system will never move forward, it is a red herring thrown out here by those who don’t want any changes at the last minute to trick people into losing focus on the real tangible thing we have on the ballot right now. If the current measure fails, I can almost guarantee we’ll never see Mapps’ version on any ballots in May or whatever.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago

I think the city government needs updating I guess but its amazing how just 10 years ago with about the same population and the same type city council, this was a well run city that everyone wanted to move to..
It’s not just the format, it’s the people we elect. It’s been a bad run but maybe we hit bottom and there is a way out by making sure the current crop does not get another term doing anything related to government in this city.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Can you imagine the real gems of council members we will get with only a 25% threshold to be elected for each multi member districts without anyone clearly in charge or accountable? Oh and an even more powerless mayor that basicly becomes just a ceremonial role? It’s going to be a glorious cr*ptastic sh*ts show

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

Maybe, but remember that the reps will be limited to the POLITICAL side of city gov’t. They will not have their hands on the operational levers the way they do now. That improvement alone will make me vote yes.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

I would much rather have elected officials controlling the mechanisms of government than unelected ones. I no longer believe in a technocratic elite that will deliver us from our baser impulses.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

The absolute worst possible scenario is that every voter chooses only one candidate, and the electorate is split evenly into 25% chunks. That is, every voter actually only wanted one candidate, and actively wanted to keep all the others out of office.

That’s the worst possible scenario. And it’s not even bad (or statistically possible). 25% of districts this large is a huge number of people. It’s fair that those 25% get representation. It’s on par with whatever pipe dream (that will never happen) Mapps is suggesting might be put on the ballot, which is a 50%+1 majority system but of a much smaller (probably gerrymandered) district. So it’s not like those candidates (in the theoretical Mapps version) have any wider appeal. And that system as we all know has no way of representing who voters actually approve of.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

The absolute worst possible scenario is that every voter chooses only one candidate, and the electorate is split evenly into 25% chunks… That’s the worst possible scenario.

Hardly. If there were 2 very popular candidates and any number of weak ones, and everyone picked only one or two, the election could be won by someone receiving a single vote. That, of course, is highly unlikely, but less extreme versions resulting in one winner having less than 25% of the vote are entirely plausible.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Sounds fine to me. If voters don’t care about anyone but those two popular candidates, but they’re asked on a ballot to choose 4 candidates, in a bad traditional system like we have, there will be low turnout for the two elections filling those other seats. But we still choose from those unpopular candidates.

The STV system on this ballot essentially gives voters an explicit way to vote “I don’t care”. Currently, they can either abstain or vote for the one whose name rings a bell. And low turnout gives more influence to the few who do care and vote.
Like, if someone is filling out a ballot anyway, they’re very likely to make “some choice” on most of the candidates. Even if they don’t know much or care much, they’ll choose the one they’ve heard of or the one their favorite newspaper says to choose. But basically that means their vote is noise. It’s not representing anything real. Using this STV system and ranking candidates, it gives voters a way to truly say “I don’t know, I like these 3 but don’t care about the rest”. Sure you could still rank the ones you don’t care or know much about, but then we’re back where we are today with choosing arbitrarily.

Maybe an example clarifies what I’m saying.
If we have 3 seats to fill, and 10 candidates running, and 2 well known and popular candidates, say we run 3 separate elections to fill those seats. That’s the most “traditional” way to do it.
Now, the first two easily get chosen with great support over the other 9/8. But on that third election, the voters are still asked to choose between 8 candidates they don’t know or really care about. If you ask them to fill out a ballot, they may or may not choose whatever name they like the sound of the most, but who knows. This vote doesn’t reflect any real will of the people, it’s just noise. The voters didn’t have a candidate that inspired them here, but they still “choose one” somehow.
Using STV just does that all in one step. Most people only rank those top two candidates, and the rest is a mix of random noise, name recognition, and newspaper recommendations. But it’s the same thing that would happen if we ran an election with those 8 candidates remaining.

You can argue (and I would agree) that having a pool of candidates nobody cares about says some bad things about our democracy or peoples’ ability to find the time in their busy lives to study up on the minutia of what some barely-public figure has done or said. That’s a real problem and one that’s not addressed by any voting/election system I know of.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

I really just wanted to point out that your assertions about how the elections would work were mistaken.

I don’t accuse you of lying or ignorance, but I do think this establishes that the proposed system is more complicated than some would claim, and can have outcomes surprising even to supporters. Some of these outcomes may run counter to people’s intuitions about what is fair or how thing should work.

In software, developers strive for something called the Principle of Least Astonishment. In an era when mistrust in voting is increasing, we should probably apply that to elections as well.

City-lover
City-lover
1 year ago

I hold the seemingly unpopular opinion that in the last we were able to focus on real citywide issues precisely because of at large elections. Bike infrastructure, transit, parks, etc. Hell no am I voting on this garbage ballot measure.

Jonathan K
Jonathan K
1 year ago
Reply to  City-lover

It’s not improbable we’ll end up with Mapp’s worse version if this doesn’t pass. I’m also a fan of at-large voting, but four districts is still far superior to 7 or 12 (NIMBYs thrive in these small districts).

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  City-lover

You think we are successful at anything you listed? Our crumbling transit (run by metro), our garbage tier bike infrastructure (signs and unprotected bike lanes), and our gross parks are signs our current sytem is working?

City-lover
City-lover
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

There’s no way a 18+ member council will get to YES on ANYTHING

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  City-lover

You’re right. All legislatures absolutely combust and never get to YES on ANYTHING when they have more than seven members. All cities around the world are in shambles. No one has passed legislation in decades. It’s all chaos 😉

Jonathan K
Jonathan K
1 year ago

Portlanders: We’re fed up with our current (and former) city leadership.
Portland Charter Commission: How about we try something new? A European model that’s well-tested and been in use for 100+ years? One that decreases the influence of special interests and political gatekeepers?
Portland’s current leaders and political gatekeepers: That’s a bad idea, you should support the idea we like instead.
Portlanders: Sounds legit.

RipCityBassWorks
RipCityBassWorks
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan K

Yeah, it’s crazy that so many people online are against this. IRL not so much, I haven’t actually met anyone who claims to be against this measure in person.

Damien
Damien
1 year ago

Good on Simpson. It’s a definite “yes” for me as well.

The highlighted quote is is a good one:

It’s eye-opening to see exactly which interests have the most direct access to the halls of power, and which entities encourage or prohibit bold leadership.

Those for whom the current system works well for don’t want this reform to pass. They’re hoping to hoodwink the city with a proposal that “maybe” will appear in May. Emphasis on maybe – no guarantee it will appear. And even if it does, it’s similarly designed to represent the same folks represented today. Not accidentally.

Don’t be hoodwinked. Vote yes.

MarkM
1 year ago

This is for the record, or at least mine. I don’t like to wear my politics on my sleeve, but after I re-read the verbiage in Measure 26-228 (thanks, John L) and re-read what Terry and Bob Weinstein said in this earlier BP discussion, I decided to vote “no” on the current Measure.
https://bikeportland.org/2022/09/06/how-ranked-choice-voting-works-and-how-it-could-give-bicycling-a-bigger-voice-in-city-hall-362877

Terry if you read this, thanks again for the DMs.

Rather than engage with folks here, I’d prefer to do so 1-1. See
https://pnwphotowalks.com/mark-mcclure-politics

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  MarkM

Good going. The next time you can’t ride on your local bike path b/c it’s blocked by crap, you can thank your city gov’t.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

I’m with you, Ashton. Yes, the proposal isn’t perfect, but it’s far better than our current s**tshow.

If it doesn’t pass, then Mingus can put forward his proposal and we can vote for it in May. But I for one ain’t waiting around and hoping that one passes. We need professionals in charge of transportation NOW, not the amateur hour we seem to have constantly in Portland.

Nathaniel Holder
Nathaniel Holder
1 year ago

I think it’s worth looking at the process of how a solution is crafted, and specifically, how many voices and how democratic that process is. The Portland Charter Commission has an impressive record of being democratic and listening to a broad range of community voices over an 18 month period. I don’t think we can say the same for the alternative Mapps proposal.

Jakob Bernardson
Jakob Bernardson
1 year ago

I don’t know Ashton, but wish him well at Metro. I shall talk with him about a rational design for CRC II.

Current and previous readers of this thread may, or may not, be relieved that I have ascertained a way out of the conundrum of seating 13 people at a Council desk designed for 5.

Simple, really.

At the present desk only Mayor, Manager, several staff will sit.  The 12 Councilors will sit in the first row of the balcony, with staff in the second row. Therefore they will appear, and be, superior, able to shout down, and perhaps cast down rotten fruit and eggs at those allegedly serving them. Citizenry will be shielded from such onslaughts by sitting under the balcony.

I do not know about politics in Ireland, although my grandparents were born there. However, I have lived in Australia and never did figure out their “Washminster” system of federal governance. I was aware, however, that politics in general is completely ruthless there, redolent of the era when most states were brutal prison colonies.

I voted against the “reform” measure, and wrote in “Chris Smith” for Councilor. Two birds with one stone.

All in all, political theater should be well served in this election.

Buster
Buster
1 year ago

That is simply not possible. You don’t have to understand how it works. Just rest assured that it is not possible to win without 25%+1 of people voting for the candidate. What might be confusing you is saying “25%+1 of votes.” It’s not the number of votes that matters, but the number of voters. You have to have 25%+1 of actual voters cast one of their votes for you to win. If you are so fringe that less than 25% of people choose to even rank you whatsoever, you will not win. Remember that people are only going to rank candidates they actually like. You don’t have to rank every candidate, and it’s highly unlikely most people will rank all candidates since usually you would disagree with several of them. So if 6 people are running and I only like two of them, I will only rank two of them and leave the rest blank.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Buster

That is simply not possible. You don’t have to understand how it works. Just rest assured that it is not possible to win without 25%+1 of people voting for the candidate.

With ballot exhaustion, it would be quite possible to fall below the 25%+1 threshold, especially if voters don’t rank all the candidates.

A trivial example with 4 candidates (A/B/C/D) and 100 voters: 50 rank A-B, 49 rank B-A, and one ranks B-A-C. No one marks D. Candidate C will win with 1% of the votes, and only a third-place ranked one at that.

Melville
Melville
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

That’s a huge assumption that so few people would run for three seats. Most City Council seats draw three or four people at least, so it’s extremely likely you will see 9 to 15 people running for each 3-member district. The cost of running will be lower than it is today, running in just one district and having a lower threshold to win a seat. So it might attract even more. I just don’t buy that only four people would run for three open seats. It’s so unlikely that we don’t have to worry about it.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Melville

I was responding to the “simply not possible” aspect of the comment; it is clearly possible. You can generalize my scenario to any number of candidates, with one or two strong front-runners that share most of the first place votes, and a large field of no-namers that no one likes and few rank. With enough exhausted ballots, one of the lesser candidates could win with less than 25% of the vote.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Candidate C will not win, as this is not a plurality system. A second election will need to be held. The win criteria is the quota, not top three with most votes (that’s called Block Voting).

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

Trust, but verify, as the saying goes! In this case I’m incorrect. From the text of the proposed reform: “until another candidate has a vote count that is at least the
threshold or until the number of candidates remaining equals the number of seats that have
not yet been filled”. So no second election needed.

Note, in the example given, 100% of people have seen their top and second choices elected, and the sole person who had a preference for a third choice has also seen that person elected. To me, it’s a weird outcome, and a decided edge case (like Ted Wheeler being mayor even though more than 50% of people voted against him), but it is technically within the realm of possibility.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

 A second election will need to be held.

Wait, what? This the first I’ve heard about a second election. Where is that in the measure?

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

We have a system right now where if there is only one candidate on the ballot, they can win with votes from their family (actually, I’m not sure if they even need one vote). So this fear people are complaining about of people winning with low support is a case where we have not enough candidates on the ballot to fill the seats with people the voters like. That’s just the way it is. It’s not weird or unusual, it’s literally the situation we’re in right now.

You could imagine doing it in stages where you hold 4 separate elections, one for each seat. On the first round, candidate A wins, the second, B wins, but by the third election, C is still the best option even though most people don’t like them and that’s what we have today and would not change under Mapps’ unlikely-to-exist system. If a ballot has only candidates with very little support, the one with the most, even if it’s 1%, will win.

My ideal system would have a clause where you can’t win without some percentage of the voting public voting for you, and we can have vacant seats. That would be great. Essentially, I want “none of the above” to be on the ballot. But it’s not now, it’s not with the system on this November’s ballot, and it’s not on the Mapps version.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  Buster

I agree that if the voting tabulation is important to you, then it’s important to you, and transparency is absolutely important. I know that many cities don’t just publish the result, but also publish each round of counting, which we absolutely should do. You can follow along with each round pretty straightforwardly with pencil, paper, and a calculator. At the end of the day no more math is needed than basic arithmetic.

soren
soren
1 year ago

Both our current system and the charter reform system would have prevented Mayor Hidalgo’s socialist-communist coalition from reshaping Paris.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  soren

Explain how they would have prevented it.

soren
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

The massive victory of the extreme-left (by USAnian standards) in Paris required the kind of political-coordination that is only possible using a city-wide closed party list system.

Clem Fandango
Clem Fandango
1 year ago

What 26-228 does is ensure that the city council is full of losers. Quite literally. Come in third place? You win a seat on the council! And good luck getting rid of the moron next election. He just has to come in 3rd again! It’s so typical of “progressivism”. Nobody understands the thing so it must be awesome!