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Ross Williams

Ross Williams's picture
Grand Rapids, MN
Commenter for
6 years 48 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 08/21/12 at 07:09 am in response to Ranked choice voting would bring our system into the 21st century

" Under RCV, voters rank candidates in order of preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) and by doing so allow for an “instant runoff” process."

The problem with an "instant" runoff is that it is based on what voters know at that instant. It means voters not only have to find the candidate they support, they need to know enough about all the other choices to determine which they prefer.

Using the primary races as examples, if serious, shows the problem. If this had been a ranked vote...

Posted on 08/20/12 at 07:10 am in response to Using amendments to tear up the Constitution — or not

Would the overwhelming majority of Americans supported allowing the free practice of Catholicism in 1783? I doubt it. Likewise giving the vote and other rights to African-Americans after the civil war. These were all political decisions. They were not reflections of popular will, but of compromises between various interest groups. They reflected popular will only to the extent the relative political power of interest groups reflected popular will.

That doesn't mean either of these...

Posted on 08/20/12 at 01:29 pm in response to Using amendments to tear up the Constitution — or not

"The MN constitution only requires simple majorities."

That isn't really accurate. Amendments require a majority of those voting to vote yes. Not voting on the amendment has the same impact on the result as voting no.

"Whatever US amendments you may be referring did in fact have to meet a much higher standard than the two ballots here will have to meet."

I don't see how that is relevant to your argument. Despite the higher bar, those amendments were added even though...

Posted on 08/16/12 at 09:06 am in response to Alt-cert stories revive online debates over TFA

"Neither is shy about their dislike of MinnPost and my education reporting. If they’d like to go get a beer with each other, I’d be happy to pick up the tab."

If everyone agrees you do a lousy job of reporting you must be doing something right? I doubt it. It is more likely that you can't separate your own bias from your reporting.

"I’ll stay out of this one, except to note that I believe that the secret conspiracy is actually a stated part of the TFA philosophy."


Posted on 08/17/12 at 09:21 pm in response to Alt-cert stories revive online debates over TFA

" unnecessary hostility"

Guilty. I am frankly tired of "journalists" implying that universal complaints about their stories are evidence that they are somehow balanced. And here we have someone denying they are getting on their high horse, while making a flying leap in the same sentence. So while the hostility was unnecessary, it was provoked.

As far as I know there is no evidence that a teachers brain power matters at all to the quality of a k-12 education. I am sure bright...

Those suburbs our parents moved to still had human scale to their services. You had to drive blocks, not miles, to get to the grocery store. Automobiles were a convenience. Now, an automobile has become a requirement to live in the suburbs or most small communities in Minnesota. Without one, services are inaccessible. Young people are simply deciding, as our parents did, to live where they have more freedom. They can walk, take transit, ride a bike or drive. What is not to like about that?...

Posted on 08/06/12 at 09:18 am in response to Party loyalty and key votes of Minnesota's congresspeople

When a congressional scorecard includes unanimous votes its usually an indication that someone is "cooking the books". I would be very suspicious that this scorecard represents any realistic measure of elected official's partisan loyalty.

Posted on 08/03/12 at 05:38 pm in response to First ad of Minnesota Senate race is a lulu

"Carlson has no evidence that Bills holds most of the views ... other than that Bills is a "devoted supporter" of Paul.

Why does he need more evidence than that. Carlson seems to be warning us that Paul's views are not just "libertarian", as some in the media have described them. They include a lot of other extreme positions and Bills has openly identified himself with and supported Paul, whether despite those views or because of them.

"I do not mean to confirm, without a...

Posted on 08/06/12 at 09:34 am in response to First ad of Minnesota Senate race is a lulu

End the impolite exposition of the consequences of policies politicians claim to support. As far as I can tell there is nothing inaccurate in this advertisement. The problem is that the issues it raises have gone unreported.

Ron Paul represents a significant political movement and Kurt Bills has forcefully identified his campaign as part of Paul's movement. He really does believe the Civil War was a mistake, that states should have been allowed to secede. And the consequences of...

Posted on 08/03/12 at 11:03 am in response to A Bachmann challenge that's conventional just will not work

How is holding news conferences pointing out Bachman's factual errors not a conventional campaign strategy? All that does is give her another media hit for her message.

I think the real unconventional strategy is to campaign against Bachman's celebrity approach to holding office. "If you want a celebrity that will get herself on the national news and give speeches to groups all over the country, then vote for Bachman. If you want someone who will look out for the people of Minnesota...