Well, Matthew Owen made it clear with his latest post in the Lost Coast Outpost. Mr. Owen – and many others who label progressives as “regressives” – will be voting against Measure P, a measure that would return a more democratic electoral process to Eureka, because…
“Bottom line: I want to vote for my City Councilmembers (plural), not a Ward Councilmember (singular).”
Now at least he is being honest. All the rhetoric about democracy or discrimination is just that, rhetoric. The 80% discrimination that Mr. Owen has written about with a True Ward system is that he and others like him who help maintain the undemocratic status quo in Eureka would lose the ability to vote for 4 of the 5 Council seats over a 4 year period.
And this is exactly why local digital media, state law, and local progressives (or “The Left“) today generally favor measures that lead to true ward electoral systems rather than at-large systems. Mr. Owen’s perceived personal political loss will be gains transferred to 4 voters outside of his ward.
I hope we all would understand that with measures that move municipalities away from at-large electoral systems and toward true ward or district systems is a recognition that we need to return to the idea of equal representation at the local level. Those four of five votes that regular voters like Mr. Owen will lose over a four year cycle of Eureka elections mean the votes in every one of those 5 elections becomes 400% more consequential* including, btw, Matthew’s vote for his representative in the 2nd Ward.
It’s that idea of one person one vote which, ironically, is a very conservative notion in our Democratic Republic.
*A voter in the Second Ward, for example, will only vote once in a four year period. That’s the bad news for a regular voter with vested interests and the loss of political power that Matthew is lamenting. The good news is when you do vote, your vote will not be diluted by the other 4/5’s of Eureka voters (because Eureka has 5 wards). The change would be 5 wards voting for a 2nd Ward Councilmember minus 1 Ward left voting equalling a multiplier of 4 or a 400% change for that Second Ward voter.
It’s a big deal and it is the reason why all of us who care about democracy, no matter where on the political spectrum your politics lie, should consider voting FOR Measure P, for a True Ward electoral system in Eureka.