Misc thoughts about political manipulation

A. I just read a worrisome story on my cell phone from Politico about Google’s potential to determine the winners of elections. Reassuringly I found it easily just now on Google itself. It was the first thing that came up in my search results.

B. I’ve been skeptical but neutral on the current enthusiasm for Ranked Choice voting. I can’t argue that our current politics isn’t a bit broken. I hate the current ability for the super rich to funnel their money secretly into political campaigns but event that is nothing compared to what Google could do if it were so inclined.

I view Ranked Choice proposals in much the same way as campaigns for civility. It could end up being a wolf dressed up in a sheep’s clothing.

C. There was a Zenith story on ranked choice voting which made a claim I’ve not heard before about the proponents of the system. The Zenith described one such group as being a Scientology-like organization which excelled at harassing critics of Ranked Choice Voting into silence. I’m a skeptic of both panaceas and harassment.

D. There is one local issue of small importance except to Duluth’s Lakeside neighborhood. At the moment owing to some antique decision from eighty or ninety years ago there are no liquor sales permitted in that neighborhood. It strikes me that the City Council is attempting to justify a change to allow liquor sales but doing so in a spineless manipulative way. Its offering a non biding vote on the subject for all of Duluth to weigh in on and not just the Lakesiders. Should it pass I can imagine the Councilors proclaiming that this city-wide vote is good enough for them no matter what the Lakesiders think.