Support ranked-choice voting

This November, Mainers will have the historic opportunity to bring positive change to the electoral process with ranked-choice voting, a system that will restore majority rule.

The current voting system and two-party arrangement has left our state more splintered and disillusioned with politics than ever before. This has been reflected in nine of the last 11 gubernatorial elections in which winners received well under 50 percent of the vote. If people believe we can hold our elected officials in Augusta and Washington more accountable by leveling the playing field for all candidates, then they must consider the benefits of election reform.

Reversing this trend is possible with ranked-choice voting. This method gives the voter more power by requiring an instant run-off should a leading candidate fail to receive 50 percent of the vote, thereby forcing candidates to seek support from a wider cross-section of voters.

This movement is building support among Republicans, Democrats, independents, Greens and Libertarians. I wholeheartedly urge my fellow Mainers to go to the polls on Nov. 8 in order to reconnect all voters and all voices to the political process.

Daniel Stuart Menz

Cape Elizabeth

Fulford for Maine Senate

If the Maine Legislature had a majority of Democrats today, we would not have the travesty of justice unfolding over Gov. Paul LePage’s defamation of his office. The duty of all legislators is to pressure him to resign and if he refuses to reconvene for impeachment or censure. But it’s not happening because Republican Party loyalty has a stranglehold in Augusta.

Where is the strong moral leadership among Republican legislators? It’s clear that they lack the courage to do the right thing when it’s not politically convenient.

When Democrat Jonathan Fulford is elected to the Senate for Waldo County, he will speak truthfully and courageously, even if it’s not politically convenient. Fulford always has been about integrity and acting in the interest of the greater good. His loyalty will be to the highest principles of good governance; he is a man of conscience.

We need a Democratic majority in the Senate to save us from LePage’s rampages in the next two years. If Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau is so against taking a tough stand in these tough times, then he deserves to be replaced by someone who will take those tough stands.

After a recount, Fulford lost Waldo County by only 105 votes last time, so let’s elect him senator this time. Go to the polls and vote for change.

Nancy Galland

Stockton Springs

Let Stein speak

There are more than two candidates for president this year. Dr. Jill Stein is running as the Green Party’s presidential nominee. Mainstream media and the two-party, corporate duopoly are keeping people in the dark.

One way to break through that media blackout is for Stein to be in the televised debates that start soon. The first is scheduled for Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in New York.

Four years ago, Stein was arrested and handcuffed to a chair for eight hours in an undisclosed location. She attempted simply to attend the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney debate at Hofstra University.

Why does this mild-mannered physician from Massachusetts frighten the ruling class? In their one public debate when Stein ran against Romney for governor, most observers agreed she was the clear winner. She is a candidate who has policy answers for the problems facing our country.

The two dominant political parties are in trouble. The Bernie Sanders insurgency woke the sleeping giant that is younger voters. The millennial generation is not ready to accept the status quo. They are energized and working for a better future for themselves, this country and the world.

Stein is leading the way. It’s time for the Commission on Presidential Debates to open the debates. As Stein says, “The right to vote means little unless we have the right to know who we can vote for.”

Betsy Garrold

Knox

Send GOP a message

Republican leaders in Maine have shown once again that they lack the courage to do what is right. They are doing nothing about Gov. Paul LePage’s latest unacceptable behavior, hoping it will blow over.

It is obvious these elected leaders will not change. They have shown they are not leaders but followers of LePage no matter what he does. These politicians are turning the Republican Party into the Do-Nothing Party because of their lack of leadership.

Come Election Day we must send these Republican leaders a clear message and vote them out of office. We need to elect men and women with leadership qualities to do what is right for Maine and its people, not blindly follow someone who has shown he is not fit for the office of governor.

David Crockett

Augusta

No apologies for expression

Jim Fossel just doesn’t get the freedom of speech thing. In his Aug. 30 BDN column, Fossel says San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick “owes an apology” for not standing for the national anthem as a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Kaepernick owes no apology, and in saying he does, Fossel displays a profound and shocking ignorance of the basic, fundamental meaning of the First Amendment. The flag is a symbol — no more. It is not a person or group of people, and Kaepernick’s chosen form of protest is not violent, dangerous or personally degrading or insulting to any person or group of people — it is purely political.

Fossel goes on to say Kaepernick owes an apology to every American who has served this country honorably. Hogwash. I have served this country honorably, and Kaepernick owes me no apology. On the contrary, I cheer Kaepernick’s action, and I doubt I’m alone.

The First Amendment does not state that one must apologize for exercising it. By suggesting that one should apologize for exercising it, Fossel kneecaps the very freedom of speech he professes to defend.

Gary Edward Hinte

Belfast

How to not pay property taxes in Maine

Our governor has said that Roxanne Quimby’s gift of more than 87,500 acres to the American public is “one way to get out of paying taxes” on the land. Perhaps she should have checked with Rep. Bruce Poliquin about the more acceptable ways to go about this in Maine.

Rick Brown

Winter Harbor