Industrial strength stupidity

The negative clamor about ranked-choice voting (RCV) is well deserved. At the heart of this ridiculous system are the algorithms. But do we know the algorithms? Have they been documented to the public?

Clearly, I don’t think RCV is fair. If I am emphatic about a candidate, I would want to vote for them first, second, third and fourth. Why would I want to list a member of the other party and even give them credence? That is not democracy at its best.

A better algorithm would be to use statistical biasing. If my second choice is the same as the first, then assign it a value of say 1.20 votes. If after the second round, my choice is still the first, assign it a value of 1.5. Thereafter, assign it a value of 2.0 votes. This way, your vote counts as you want. It is likely the result of the last 2nd Congressional District election would have been different had RCV been founded on fairness.

If not checked, I fear RCV will lead to real civil violence, as will the fool’s game of doing away with the Electoral College, which equal industrial strength stupidity and subverting the will of the people.

Robert Holland


Appalled by fur trade

I’d like to comment on the recent BDN article pointing out that there are those in Maine bemoaning the lack of interest in buying fur. The article featured a trapper, wearing the pelt of some unfortunate critter on his head, standing over the body of a dead beaver.

In case I wasn’t sufficiently appalled, I then stumbled upon George Smith’s recent sporting column. He said that when the state solicited opinions on rules for furbearing animals — read: trapping — they were overwhelmed with “awful” and “nasty” comments from people who, like me, can’t believe that we still allow this cruel practice of inflicting extreme and prolonged pain on animals merely to allow people to drape fur over themselves. Count me in with the nasty, awful people.

Diane Monroe Smith


The difference between Cohen and Golden

In 1972, we elected Bill Cohen to Congress from the district now served by Rep. Jared Golden. What a difference.

Cohen found himself in the middle of the Nixon impeachment crisis and was getting pressure from his party to go along and support the president. He chose to defy the party leaders and was one of the first Republicans to go on record against Nixon.

Now we have a representative in a similar position, and he seems to have no courage and be afraid to buck the party leaders — though he nearly admits he is skeptical of what they are doing.

We don’t need or deserve wishy-washy, but that’s what we got. I’d be happy to be wrong about this.

Donald Lewis