I’m writing in response to Danny Westneat’s column “The death of the moderate in WA politics” [May 14, Local]. We need more people involved in serious, nuanced problem-solving, and fewer people involved in slogans and spin, so it’s a tragedy to see a thoughtful, experienced candidate feel they have to toe the party line to be electable.
We need moderate elected officials who can tackle challenges with consensus facts, creative thinking and willingness to compromise, or we might as well give it up.
We can encourage moderate candidates by changing the way we do elections. Approval voting allows people to vote for all the candidates they like in a race and it’s already used in Fargo, N.D., and St. Louis. Seattle’s Initiative 134 is collecting signatures this spring to make this happen for Seattle. It’s a simple but powerful change that applies to primary elections for city offices and encourages candidates to appeal to a broader group of voters. It helps avoid vote-splitting between similar candidates creating winners with tiny percentages.
Moderates like Reagan Dunn could more likely win a primary under approval voting and maybe we’d have a real chance to work “across the aisle” to solve problems.
Debra Morrison, Seattle