Support ranked-choice voting

Opponents of ranked-choice voting are doing everything in their power to forestall its use in the June 2018 primaries and beyond. That is not surprising. Of course, we expect the people elected by the current system to show reluctance in changing that system. Yet, while they say it will cause confusion, chaos and cost, the truth is that as soon as Mainers have the opportunity to use a ranked-choice ballot, they won’t want to return to the old ways.

Ranked-choice voting was, without a doubt, the most important issue on last year’s ballot. And it remains the most important issue in Maine politics. It sets the stage for a whole new style of participation and interaction between candidates and voters in our elections, and that is why Maine voters approved ranked-choice voting on last year’s ballot. With ranked-choice voting, we could have more choice, more positive campaigning, and more voter consensus.

There will be a special legislative session this fall to once again consider the options for the ranked-choice voting law. Anything could happen, including a full repeal, so supporters of election reform need to make their voices heard loud and clear.

Change is hard and the composition of our Legislature reflects the status quo. That’s why it always has been, and will be, incumbent upon the voters of Maine to demonstrate the depth of support for ranked-choice voting. Please contact your representatives and express your support for this system.

Ted Markow


America is sick

Shamed America is sick and dying. Her enemy, Evil Incarnate, hastens her death with vehement thrashings. For example, from the beginning of civilization until its most recent days, “single” meant “not wed.” The purpose of dating was to find a spouse. Entering holy wedlock pure was highly valued. Evil Incarnate has redefined all that. Now a person is single if not dating, dating can be cohabitation, and marriage is disposable. Evil’s works are endless.

America’s friend, Patriot, whose forehead bears our founding documents, and on whose heart is written the laws of God, holds in his right hand Old Glory and in his left a bright candle. He kneels by America’s sickbed and lovingly breathes life into her.

Will death or life win? The choice is ours. May we choose wisely.

Elizabeth Hutchins


Don’t back down on food sovereignty

Food sovereignty references everyone’s right to decide what she or he chooses to ingest for sustenance and on what basis. In June, Maine endorsed that principle under Maine’s constitutional provisions of “home rule.” Gov. Paul LePage has now called for a special legislative session to address the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s move to quash Maine’s action thereby raising a bramble patch of issues.

Since when can a Maine agency undermine its governor by provoking the feds to attack Maine’s adoption of duly considered policy? Is it proper use of federal power to counter a state constitution and its legislature’s overwhelming interpretation of its provisions?

Is there any evidence that the principles guiding food safety at the national level (e.g., to address high tech, many hands, many miles, and long time spans between production/processing and consumption, etc.) are either superior or necessary to those which obtain in direct consumer-to-producer/processor exchanges at the local level?

Should Maine be expected to blindly accept Big Ag/Big Food’s unbridled power to influence Washington’s rules to the unnecessary disadvantage of small local producers and processors?

What is Maine’s proper response to federal bullying manifest in the present circumstance?

Maine leads the nation on food sovereignty issues. The Legislature shouldn’t back down on an issue so central to local and state democracy, individual autonomy, and constitutional authority. It can do this only by addressing the entire thicket, not just one or another of its elements.

Hendrik D. Gideonse