| Kyle Sammin | The Philadelphia Enquirer |
It’s not quite 2023 yet, but next year’s mayor’s race already has 10 candidates. Five City Council members, a judge, a state representative, a businessman, a pastor, and a city controller all hope to command enough of the vote in the Democratic primary to eke out a plurality and win the nomination — which in Philadelphia is tantamount to winning the election.
It is likely that none of these people — or others who may still join the race — will win a majority of the vote. That means the next mayor will likely be selected by a sliver of the Democratic primary electorate, itself only a fraction of the city populace.
A consensus choice…
We don’t have to wonder too hard what that might look like, since Pennsylvania Republicans went through similarly crowded, mismanaged primaries earlier this year, with disastrous results.
New York City is not the only place to use ranked-choice voting. Maine and Alaska do, too, and Nevada adopted a similar system by referendum last month. It makes especially good sense in primaries: In a general election, many partisans would not even give a last place vote to a member of the opposing party, but in a primary, voters often would be happy with any one of a number of candidates from the same party.
No process is perfect, but a consensus choice would ensure that Philadelphia has a mayor who represents more of the people.