Mayes Middleton has introduced a bill that would destroy the Libertarian Party.
The Libertarian Party is the only third party with ballot access in Texas. Apparently, he believes they will split the conservative vote in 2020 and elect Democrats. The Democrat turnout machine is much better organized than the Republican, and deep pocket progressives are planning to turn Texas Blue in 2020. Turnout is everything in runoff elections.
There’s a much better solution, instant runoff voting.
If voters were able to cast a runoff vote during the first pass, there would be no need for a second runoff election. If the ballots had a second runoff section for all races with more than two candidates, voters could make a runoff selection at the same time they cast their first choice vote. Everything would be known on election night.
There are two flavors of instant runoff voting, ranked choice, where voters rate the candidates as first, second, third, etc., and the simpler version proposed above, where voters simply cast their second choice vote at the same time they cast their first. If their first choice isn’t in the runoff their second choice vote is used. Third party voters can choose a major party candidate as their runoff choice, allowing a true majority result.
Ranked choice is hard to implement with many of the existing systems used in Texas, but just having a second block for races with more than two candidates is no problem. It would allow the true choice of the voters to be expressed. It’s a much better solution than outlawing third parties.
These are strange times. The major parties have coalesced around one issue, abortion. The Democrats and Republicans have driven out all local party officials who aren’t extreme on one side or the other of the abortion issue. Campaign volunteers are given the third degree on abortion and driven away if they’re not pure enough. Republicans claim to see abortion as the basis for a second Civil War. Everyone must be forced to take a side.
Outlawing third parties is another move toward complete polarization. It’s a bad move in a bad direction.
The national and Texas Libertarian platforms say that the government should be kept out of the abortion issue. That means no tax dollars for Planned Parenthood, but also no change to Roe vs. Wade.
Libertarians want smaller government and lower taxes, and they want to keep government out of people’s private lives. These are widely held positions in Texas. Mayes Middleton may be able to destroy the Libertarian Party, but his effort isn’t likely to force them to vote Republican. It’s also certain to backfire, giving the big money progressives another issue which with to beat up the Republicans.
There’s a much better solution, allow voters to make their second runoff choice at the same time they make their first. Runoff elections could be a thing of the past in Texas. This is the year to do it.