December 11, 2018
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Monday, Oct. 15, 2018: End plurality voting, GOP gone wrong, salmon should be wild

Giles for Maine Senate

When I moved to Belfast 34 years ago, Jayne Crosby Giles was one of the first people to reach out and welcome me to the community. She knew I was new to the city and didn’t know very many people here. That’s the kind of person she is — recognizing what people need and taking action to help where she can.

She will do the same as our state senator for District 11. She will listen to her constituents and do what she can help them. She has experience as a business woman and as a state representative from our area. She is involved with community service as a Rotarian and a director on the board of the YMCA. It is this varied experience that will make her a great senator from Waldo County.

Please join me in voting for Giles as our next state senator.

Jill Goodwin

Belfast

Something wrong with GOP

If you are a Republican senator today, you check your human values and morals at the door when you walk onto the Senate floor. They called for a fake and totally controlled FBI expanded background check on Brett Kavanaugh. They said nothing when the FBI was prevented from interviewing Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. And 32 other potential witnesses who may have information were not interviewed. They abdicated their constitutional responsibility of “advise and consent” on a Supreme Court nominee.

Now, when they walk through the door to the Senate floor, they grab their satchel full of Trump lies and deceptions and spread them liberally around their desks. This isolates them from the truth and corroborated facts. It prevents them from asking intelligent and probing questions. It allows them to ignore their conscience and enable the destruction of Ford. And the Senate voted to put Kavanaugh on the court without a thorough background check. Something is wrong here.

One lone female Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against Kavanaugh. Shame on Sen. Susan Collins.

The most amazing thing to me is that millions and millions of Americans are cheering the outcome. Cheering!

Something is dreadfully wrong with the Republican Party. Vote them out in November.

Paul A. Cyr

Madawaska

End plurality elections

Predicting the outcome of political races for public office is not an exact science. But one prediction is almost guaranteed to be accurate. It is very likely that in this November’s election the next governor will win by less than a majority of the votes. The governor will be elected by a minority of the votes.

In the last 11 elections, a candidate for governor has been elected without winning a majority of the votes nine times. That is counter to democratic principles of fairness in representative government. So what should voters do about this system of allowing a governor to be elected without winning a majority of the votes?

A good start would be for voters to ask the Legislature to make elections fairer by revising the Maine Constitution to change the word “plurality” (meaning less than a majority) to the word “majority” as it relates to elections for governor and state representatives. It is too late to fix this onerous problem for this November election but not too late to ask candidates if they support a change to the Constitution to provide that candidates can only be elected by winning a majority of the votes.

Jim Chiddix

Waterville

Herbig for Maine Senate

I have known Erin Herbig for over a decade. We worked together at a local restaurant when she came back to Belfast from college to be a part of our hometown community. She, like myself, was born and raised here, and has deep family roots in Waldo County. I, like her, also came back to my home after college to work locally and eventually open my own business.

For the last eight years, Herbig has been working hard for us in the Maine House of Representatives. I personally have felt the impact of her work to support our area business growth. I also appreciate her work to bring vocational programs, apprenticeship programs and a community college center to Waldo County to encourage younger folks and families to stay in our area so we can thrive for generations to come.

I cannot imagine a better champion for Waldo County, and I cannot wait to vote for Herbig in November to represent Waldo County in the Maine Senate, so she can continue to work hard for the people of our community.

Raymelle Moody-Guthrie

Belfast

What will the future say?

In the 1950s, my mother taught me how to be a lady, how to shop, how to pray; but she never prepared me for climate change.

I married an environmentalist and a believer in community, and in 2010, we became part of the Transition Towns movement. We held weekly Transition Cafes at the Belfast Co-op, we did group storytelling at the Belfast Library, we even published a newspaper from the future: what it would be like here in 2020.

Flash forward to this week’s headline in the Washington Post: The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, United Nations scientists say. A decade.

Even as I read this dire warning, Belfast debates a proposed salmon farm, a critter designed for the wild. The best environmental argument in favor of the proposed project is that doing it here will save airplane fuel used to transport fish from Scandinavia to America. But keeping these fish alive, whether here or in Norway, requires an industrial operation running pumps 24 hours a day, seven days a week for their lifetime. This is an energy demand that solar panels on the roof cannot begin to meet.

Mother would have loved the cellophane-wrapped perfection of this project. But what will the people living in 2030 and beyond think of this proposed plant, when the effects of climate change are in full swing? Have the rising sea levels been taken into account? Will the people of the future be thanking us?

Jennifer Hill

Waldo

Election notice

The BDN will stop accepting letters and OpEds related to the Nov. 6 election on Oct. 26. Not all submissions can be published.

 


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