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Hertzberg in MN: Reforms Like RCV are Critical to Save Democracy

Minneapolis (March 11, 2016) - Amid chaos in our political system, author, political analyst and New Yorker editor Hendrik Hertzberg spoke to a crowd of over 100 fellow democracy mavens including numerous state and local elected officials  in Minneapolis March 10 about the urgent need for structural political reform.

Our democracy was cutting edge, state-of-the-art, the Silicon Valley of politics in 1789, Hertzberg said at the standing-room-only FairVote Minnesota event but much has changed in the past two centuries. And given an electorate that doesnt neatly fit into two political parties plus a presidential race that is plumbing new lows in coarseness, polarization, and incivility its time for far-reaching reforms like Ranked Choice Voting, he said.

In a way, we kind of have a four-party system developing right now, with the social-democratic party of the Democratic Party; the Liberal Democratic part of the Democratic party; the mainstream or traditional Republican party; and the populist-nationalist Republican party, Hertzberg said. And its producing perverse results. But under Ranked Choice Voting, you could have four parties, and you could still get a kind of consensus winner out of it. 

RCV promotes civility, he said, since candidates often need second-choice votes from their rivals supporters to win. And it opens the door to more perspectives more thoughtful perspectives in politics. RCV allows more voices in the conversation in a meaningful way, without taking the risk that the winner is despised by a majority.

Hertzberg also talked about the need for a national popular vote to eliminate the phenomenon of swing states campaigning, and for 18-year, staggered terms for Supreme Court justices.

An Evening with Hendrik Hertzberg was moderated by author and Star Tribune columnist Lori Sturdevant, another longtime RCV advocate.

Were honored that Hertzbergs first visit to Minnesota was on FairVote Minnesotas behalf and we hope it wont be his last!

Click here for a full photo gallery of the evening.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and a special thank you to event cohosts Siyad Abdullahi, Jennifer & Denny Bennett, Sen. Terri Bonoff, Ellen & Peter Brown, St. Paul councilor Amy Brendmoen, Richard Carlbom, Sarah Clarke, Jim Cousins, Roann Cramer, Sen. Scott Dibble, Kelly Doran, Gail Dorfman, Jim Dorsey, Minneapolis councilor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis councilor Elizabeth Glidden, Peter Gove, Karla Ekdahl & Peter Hutchinson, Matt Lewis, Jeanne Massey, Scott Mayer, Tim Penny, Jeff Peterson, Cecily Hines & Tom Pettus, St. Paul councilor Jane Prince, Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, Ralph Remington, Sen. Ann Rest, Sandra Sandell, Molly Rice & Andy Slothower, Steph & Steve Smith, John Stout, Missy Staples Thompson, Jack Uldrich, Bao Vang, Sarah Walker, Jim Watkins and Minneapolis Board of Estimate & Taxation member David Wheeler.

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