Case Study: How The Gaming of the Electoral Process Doesn’t Work AKA Why Gavin’s Smiling Despite, Well, You Know…

It’s May 1st, also known as May Day. For some this means a celebration of spring – to some self-styled urban revolutionaires it means a Day To Pretend We’re In Solidarity With The Workers Who Make Our T Shirts. I thought it a perfect day to mark something else – the total failure of a small group of people to “game” the electoral system to change the results in San Francisco.
We’ve had to endure endless caterwauling about all sorts of gimmicks that were promised to “change” the results and thus make them more “fair.” Let’s go down the list, shall we?

We have needlessly complex and contradictory “campaign finance reform” laws with all sorts of Unintended Consequences. Enforcement’s a joke at best, and unfair at worst.
Don’t forget the joy that is “Ranked Choice Voting” or “Instan Runoff Voting” (or whatever the name is this week). Again, at best a total waste of time in Citywide elections, and at worst, nothing more than feel good legislation that’s done nothing to change the results of any elections – except help incumbents stay in office. (For an example, see the electoral beating Alix Rosenthal took against incumbent Sup. Bevan Dufty.) Oh and making elections “more civil?” Go ask Sup. Daly how “civil” his opponents were in 2006
And finally, what round-up would be complete without the total failure that is public financing of Mayoral Elections. Reading the many promises made by self-styled advocates, and seeing the reality so far in this year’s race, well, it’s pretty clear that all those fantastic promises made by advocates simply haven’t happened. Go look at the filings for the Mayoral candidates and see for yourself!
So here we are. It’s May 1st. Our Mayor is a good guy, but he’s had some Big Problems (and I’m not talking about You Know What). Problems like a MUNI Meltdown, a crime problem that’s out of control, a disaster chief who was totally unqualified to do anything but suck up a government paycheck, and of course, raising all sorts of taxes and mandates on local business. Hey he’s even trying to bankrupt MUNI with a call for “free” fares!
Surely someone reasonable “progressive” (or even a “moderate”) would step up and offer him or herself as an alternative, and force a debate on these relevant issues for the benefit of You the Citizen, what with all these groovy laws passed by the Feel Good Crowd, right? Shouldn’t the Mayor be worried?
[Insert sound of crickets chirping here]
Even after all those changes in the rules, “progressive activists” and their allies still can’t get up the courage to put up a real candidate for Mayor. At this point, doing so is almost impossible – the election is in just a few short months.
So the next time you see Mayor Newsom with a big smile on his face no matter how bad the news is just remember – even with years of effort to game the results for Their Side, “progressive activists” still run around in circles gazing at their navels and praying at the altar of St. Matt. (News Flash: He ain’t running and never planned to). Meanwhile the Mayor and his consultants can laugh all the way to the bank.
Happy May Day! Viva La Revolucion, or something. Didn’t they have that on some $200 t-shirt in the Haight?
UPDATE: Oddly enough, someone in the Examiner echoed my sentiments (sort of)exactly 2 weeks later! Interesting!

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