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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Rankled choice

Uploaded: Jul 17, 2011
As I mentioned in my Friday blog, I attended the American Idols' tour in Oakland last Tuesday. I also wrote my May 29th blog on the Idols outcome. It wasn't much of a surprise since Scotty McCreery led in the voting from the beginning.

One of my favorites, Casey Abrams, said he thought the show was more like a showcase than a competition. After attending the tour, I agree. Each of the performers, especially Casey who is a jazz musician, fits a particular niche. They really were not competing against each other but presenting themselves as who they are. Scotty or James Durbin or Haley Reinhart might turn out to be the big star from Season 10, but each one of the eleven finishers could have a successful career in music, with a devoted if smaller group of fans.

The voting on Idol is ridiculous and should be changed. Each week Ryan Seacrest would say, "Who will be voted off tonight?" or something like that, but there is no voting against anyone. It's not like they have a phone number to call to drop a contestant. We call to vote FOR someone not against someone. But the votes are rigged since anyone can vote hundreds of times. That's like the old saying about Chicago politics, "Vote early and vote often," but on American Idol it's real.

There ought to be a way to vote someone off, not just on Idol but at the ballot box. None of the Above is an organization dedicated to ". . . giving voters the ballot option to reject all candidates for an office and to call for a new election, with new candidates" for those of us who are disgusted with the choices of candidates that result from polarized primaries.

The City of Oakland tried something different last year. They used Ranked Choice voting for Mayor. That's how Jean Quan won over better known and better funded Don Perata. I can't quite figure out the math in the chart, but I'd like to see something like this used in State and National elections in the future. Then maybe we wouldn't be stuck with having to choose between the "lesser of two evils," because the "evils" of partisan politics would be reduced.

San Ramon's elections haven't been that complicated or that contentious yet. I suspect this year's will be more interesting, but not enough to need Ranked Choice or None of the Above. Like American Idol, each of the candidates will have his or her own groupies who will come out and vote at least once, and those who finish at the bottom will be dropped.
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