8 May 2005
First past the post
What do South Belfast and northeast Tulsa have in common? Michael Bates explains:
In Thursday's [UK] vote, unionist parties received 51.1% of the vote, while nationalist parties received 41.3% the rest of the votes went to three minor parties which are neither unionist nor nationalist. Even though a majority of voters supported unionists, the winning candidate was a nationalist. Most of the nationalist votes went to the SDLP [Social Democratic and Labour Party] candidate, who took 32.3% of the vote, while the DUP [Democratic Unionist Party] and UUP [Ulster Unionist Party] candidates split the unionist vote almost down the middle 28.4% and 22.7% respectively. If there were a runoff, the DUP candidate would almost certainly have won, but there isn't going to be a runoff just a "winner" who had two-thirds of the voters against him.
And this relates to Tulsa how?
Tulsa's upcoming City Council special election no primary, no runoff, no majority required has the same flaw, only to a greater degree.
And in Bates' worst-case scenario, the two reform-minded candidates will wind up in a virtual tie for second place while a representative of Business As Usual waltzes into District 5 with a minority of the votes but enough to finish first.
In Oklahoma City, this is the sort of situation that produces a runoff, but not in Tulsa. I have to wonder if this isn't the sort of divide-and-conquer business that's kept the Tulsa power structure in power all along.Posted at 8:18 AM to Soonerland