Don’t assume Poliquin would win
The Dec. 19 BDN OpEd by Orion Zydlewski, “Maine a laboratory of democracy,” makes a grievous misstatement. Zydlewski asserts that “Poliquin, the incumbent Republican representative, who would have won if ranked-choice voting was not in place.”
The notion that Poliquin would have won without ranked-choice voting seems to be commonplace, but it is without foundation. Jared Golden would have won under the old system, too. The voters for Tiffany Bond and/or Will Hoar used the ranked-choice process to make some expression, but then most of them voted for Golden over Poliquin when it counted. Without ranked-choice voting, they would have had to vote for either Golden or Poliquin in order for their vote to count, so most would have cast their ballots for Golden, thus putting Golden ahead of Poliquin.
There is simply no basis for thinking that Poliquin would have prevailed in the absence of ranked-choice voting, just as there is no basis for Poliquin’s crowing about leading before the ranked-choice process was completed.
Golden won under the new system, and would have won under the old system too, Poliquin’s and Zydlewski’s claims notwithstanding.
Maine needs sick leave
Currently, over 198,000 workers in Maine don’t have access to any paid sick time at work. Almost half of Maine’s workers and their families are faced with impossible choices; parents must decide if they can afford to lose a day’s pay, or send their sick child to school. No Mainer should have to choose between their health (or the health of their family), and the job and wages they need to make ends meet.
When I was younger, my mother worked two part-time jobs. She was a single mother, getting her bachelor’s degree, and struggling to get by. This is a story that is all too familiar amongst Mainers.
I was lucky enough to have a grandparent nearby who was able to watch me if I ever needed to stay home from school. I remember one specific time though, when my grandmother was ill and my mom had to stay home with me, she missed both of her shifts and her classes, and I remember watching her struggle that month to put food on our table. That is a feeling no child should ever feel.
Please join me and the rest of Maine families in supporting paid sick days for all Maine workers.
Leave lobsters off your plate
Regarding the Dec. 19 BDN article,“PETA lodges complaint against another Maine lobster processor,” we’ve known that crustaceans can feel pain since at least 2009, when Dr. Robert W. Elwood, a leading authority on the subject of pain in crustaceans, published papers on this issue in the journals Animal Behavior and Applied Animal Behavior Science. “With vertebrates we are asked to err on the side of caution and I believe this is the approach to take with these crustaceans,” he says.
Lobsters are “marvelously complex,” according to lobster biologist Anita Kim, and “quite amazingly smart animals,” according to researcher Michael Kuba. They establish social relationships, recognize individual lobsters, remember past acquaintances, and if left alone, can live to be more than 100 years old.
Yet, as the BDN reported, video footage captured inside the slaughterhouse at Maine Fair Trade Lobster shows workers tearing off lobsters’ claws, puncturing their shells, and ripping their abdomens and tails from their bodies — all while the lobsters are fully conscious and able to feel pain.
Maine’s cruelty-to-animals statute applies to all sentient animals — including complex lobsters and crabs who should be protected from egregious, illegal cruelty. While PETA takes that up with officials, everyone can make a difference by leaving crustaceans off their plates.
Director of evidence analysis
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals