History is repeated, repeatedly. Heavily banked, party-backed candidates push to the front of the lines of those competing for the highest electoral offices, to fight out an either-or rivalry thick with lies, promises and vindictive and distortive accusations. Nevertheless, developments in our political system and in our regional and national challenges are still changing dramatically.
One new key factor of the coming Senate race in Maine is ranked choice voting. This will allow us to vote for whatever candidate of any party affiliation or none, whom we believe best suited to serve our nation at a time of multiple crises and severe internal divisiveness, while we also identify a second and even third choice, to whom our votes will default if our first choice doesn’t come out on top.
This system for electing key public servants prevents any candidate from becoming a spoiler. However, media throughout Maine continue to focus almost entirely on candidates of the two dominant parties with huge financial support from unknown lobbies, corporations and wealthy patrons, as though only those chosen by their party machines and loyal party voters are deserving of attention.
Lisa Savage, running for the Green Party, deserves much closer inspection. Savage has a long history of political activism outside our two-party system, which has helped her generate a platform that offers plans to improve our health, safety, environment and international relations. She is quick-witted, clear-sighted and brilliantly articulate in voicing her analyses and intentions as a new kind of politician, willing to buck the system and business as usual. Close listening all over the state fosters her support for strategic, focused changes in the systems that have bogged our nation down in moral helplessness and degeneracy for decades. Her principles have not been obliged to compromise in favor of behind-the-scenes party power dynamics.
I hope regional press and television will support real democracy, by improving informative coverage of her campaign. It can wake people up and inspire vital attention. It’s done so for me.