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Camejo will work to make sure
that people are free to vote for the candidate of their choice, and have their
vote count. This includes using run-offs in statewide elections, to uphold the
principle of majority rule (using instant-run-off voting, so voters can rank
their first and second choices). Camejo will work for campaign finance reform,
to eliminate bribery and corruption.
Camejo's Debate Response: Are you concerned about playing the role of spoiler and perhaps costing Davis this election?
"All IÕm doing is presenting my candidacy and urging people to vote for me. The fact that we do not have runoffs [in which voters could rank their choices on the ballot], so that the Democrats may end up losing the election because people choose to vote for me, well, if he canÕt get those votes and they go to me, thatÕs his problem, not my problem. He has the power to create runoff elections, and he chooses not to, so he has nothing to complain about. He spent $10 million to get Simon nominated, then heÕs
going to try to blame me if Simon wins?"
Camejo's Debate Response: But who do you think would be a better governor: Davis or Simon?
"I donÕt choose between them. I think thatÕs a dead end. When you begin trying to weigh evil or incorrect decisions to see which one is the worst, thatÕs a dead end in politics. ThatÕs why the Green Party exists, and thatÕs why we say we have to have runoff elections, so the will of the electorate is respected. We are against spoiling, and yet we are the only people asked about spoiling. I keep telling the media to ask Davis and ask Simon why theyÕre for spoiling, because theyÕre the ones who wonÕt
come out for runoff elections in the statewide election."
Camejo's Debate Response: Given how easily markets seem to get spooked by rhetoric from the left, how would you keep the economy strong as you pursued your economic and social-justice agenda?
"ThatÕs a very good point. It looks like the progressives have just won in Brazil, and it looks like the market in Brazil has dropped dramatically because of it, and I can understand business being concerned because we would require companies to be law-abiding. We would require that corporations that want the title of being a corporation would have to, as originally intended, have a social purpose. After the first shocking reaction, thereÕs enormous business to be done in California, and if a corporation violates the law, I can assure you somebody else will step in. We are for small business and for developing entrepreneurship, but we also believe in democracy, and we have to change the way the corporations, so criminally inclined, and are being run. You know, the study was made 30 years ago, a long time ago, of the largest 538 companies. In just a two-year period, 61 percent of them violated the law. This is not just a temporary phenomenon, what weÕre witnessing here. There has been a massive abuse of the law because the corporations control the two major parties, so thereÕs no oversight. We really think there is reform needed in this area, and itÕs true that we may pay a short-term price, the day weÕre
elected. But I think, long-term, it would be much better for the economy and
for the people."
Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)
STOP SPOILING ELECTIONS
Open Letter from Peter Miguel Camejo, Green Party candidate for Governor of California, to all members of the California State Legislature:
I call upon all of us who respect and honor democracy to work together to make sure that the will of the people is respected in our elections.
The race for Governor of California in 2002 might be very close, and, with
a strong Green candidate running, it is likely that charges of "spoiler" will
appear. Fortunately, there is an easy solution - runoffs! We ask Democrats
and Republicans to stop spoiling elections by refusing to allow runoffs.
We should not allow a candidate who is opposed by the majority of the people to take office, nor should we tell the public that they do not have the right to vote for the person who best represents their views. Instead, we should adopt a system of elections, known as runoffs, used throughout the world, and by cities and counties throughout California.
When we use runoffs, people first get to choose their first choice candidate. If no candidate gets over 50% of the vote, then voters get to apply their vote to their second choice.
The basic principles of democracy require that we use runoffs. Otherwise, the principle of majority rule is violated. If four candidates run for an office, and there are no runoffs, then someone who got 26% could win, even though 74% of the voters oppose them!
Most every nation holds runoffs to protect its citizen's rights. By using Instant Runoff Voting, a system used in public elections in the U.S. and elsewhere for over 100 years, we can conduct the runoff without the added expense of a second election. Voters simply rank candidates 1, 2, 3, and if no candidate receives an outright majority, the rankings are used to conduct the runoff instantly. Modern technology can do this quickly and cheaply.
Members of both major parties violated our constitution for over 90 years by taking actions to deny many people of color the right to vote. This violation of our democracy lingers to this day, when African Americans in Florida were unjustly removed from voting rolls or asked to show 3 pieces of identification.
As legislators you carry a burden of responsibility to keep our elections
free, fair and open to all contenders. You have the power to enact Instant-Runoff
voting and eliminate any possibility of "spoiling." If you do not, it is you,
and not any third party candidates, who have spoiled the elections.
The effort to provide real democracy in this nation is not yet complete. It is time to take the next step, to make sure that every vote counts, that every voter is free to vote their conscience, and that the will of the electorate is honored.
Peter Miguel Camejo
P.S. For more information about the details of Instant Runoff voting, and how to implement it,
visit the Center for Voting and Democracy.