Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Aug. 21

How to submit a Letter to the Editor

The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

Ranked-choice voting rocks

Are you tired of the divisive, vindictive, political cesspool our campaign process has descended into? If so, there is a simple solution on the horizon: Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV).

This is a voting system where you get to rank all the candidates from first to last for a particular office. If one candidate gets more than 50% of the first-choice votes, they automatically win the election. But if no one gets that many votes, then the ranked-choice process kicks in.

Whichever candidate received the least first-choice votes would be eliminated, and the second-choice votes from those ballots would be given to each respective candidate still left. The process is repeated, if necessary, until a candidate finally surpasses the 50% mark and becomes the winner.

The beauty of RCV is that it forces candidates to appeal to the broadest spectrum of voters and not just some devout base. RCV essentially works against single-issue zealots with very narrow viewpoints and benefits those candidates who are at least acceptable to most voters.

RCV has been in place in Australia for over 100 years, and elections there are very calm, civil and lack all the fireworks and negative ads our political process is plagued with. Plus, they never elect controversial politicians; their leaders are generally tolerated by almost everyone.

If you want to learn more, visit fairvotewa.org for a quick, two-minute explanation. And then be ready to support RCV in Washington through either the legislative or initiative process.

Steve Shanewise, Olympia

Officials shouldn’t make promises they won’t keep

Political candidates frequently make sweeping promises they cannot keep (or don’t intend to), disappointing voters.

To be fair, politicians have learned that telling voters what they want to hear gets more votes than speaking about reality. You seldom hear “how” they will achieve their promises. Lesson: Watch what they do, not what they say.

For example, the Affordable Care Act. Candidate Trump claimed he would eliminate the ACA and provide citizens with a plan offering not only the same benefits but significantly more, at a lower price. Sound good? Did he say “how” he planned to do it? Has it been done?

He and his Republican minions now say their number one priority is to completely eliminate the ACA. What are they replacing it with? How will it be accomplished? Their answer: Just give them back control of the Senate and House in 2020 and you will see their great plan for your health care. It’s a surprise!

Not surprisingly, several Senators talk out of both sides of their mouths, claiming their plan will not eliminate pre-existing conditions (which most of us have to some degree), then talk about the need to eliminate them. Also, they want to let insurance companies handle rates. Great idea!

One Republican Senator kindly said the uninsured could still get medical care because they could go to a hospital emergency room. Terrific idea! Hospitals and clinics closed because they had to eat the losses when patients could not pay. That’s what the ACA tried to correct.

Promises, promises!

Cynthia Daniels, Lacey