My preferred arrangement would be to elect one house by STV, i.e., the single transferable vote, in districts which elect anywhere from five to eight members of the chamber. That system comes much closer to full representation of minorities than any single-member district arrangement. The other house would still be elected by single-member districts, but with the members elected by "instant run-off." Instead of primaries, the voter would be empowered to rank the candidates for a seat in his or her order of preference. The virtually inevitable result is that the winner obtains a majority (i.e., more than 50 percent) of the vote rather than a plurality. In order to win, however, that candidate would have to obtain second or third choices that went to candidates who were eliminated (the bottom candidate is eliminated and his or her next choices allocated to the other candidates). More candidates would be likely to run for a seat; minorities would have a voice, but the result would be a majority winner.
Elimination of primaries would save money, but that money probably should be spent to provide for a larger legislature in order to bring representatives closer to the people and enable the new electoral systems to work effectively.
Professor emeritus of Political Science
Arizona State University
A Loss for Words
A Rose is a Rose: There are many Jaimee Rose fans out here, including me ("Gimme Moore's," Bite Me, Marnye Oppenheim, April 3). One reason is that she is a fabulous writer, who chooses words well. Mundane, inferior writers, on the other hand, have to resort to inane ad hominem, because words fail them or because they lack the talent to say things in an artful manner. It is a shame you are in the latter category.
Eugene D. Cohen
Welcome to the Jungle
Beat generation: As a drum and bass promoter, it is awesome to see an article like this ("Surviving the Jungle," Darren Keast, March 27). The many hours and dollars we pour into bringing acts out really pays off when you see articles like this. Thank you.