Another step forward in City electoral reform would be "preferential voting".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferential_voting and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting
is also called "instant run-off" and is used in a number of countries
(including Australia) and several cities in the US, including San
Francisco and Oakland. For example, in a 3-way contest between
candidates A,B, & C, each voter has the opportunity to vote for one
candidate AND indicate a second preference. If, for example, candidate C
gets the lowest number of votes, those who voted for C and indicated a
2nd preference would have their votes counted toward that candidate.
This enables two candidates with similar views to to run against a
single candidate of opposing views without worrying about splitting the vote. It saves the expense of run-off
elections which can further drain the funds of the candidates and make
them even more dependent on big contributors, or tilt towards those with
the most money.
I am told that both CM Whittum and CM Moylan
have tried to get the county to provide the software so Santa Clara County cities can
implement this. I think more pressure needs to be applied, and if
Sunnyvale voted to go to this method, it would pretty much force the county voting registrar to get the software that Oakland and San Francisco use.