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 DENVER, Colorado – The failure of  Colorado Legislative leaders to broker a deal on fracking is the result of an election system that gives power to those on the political extremes way out of proportion to their numbers, the director of a Coalition promoting a new election system charged Monday.


  “Once again, the legislature has failed everyone,” director Ryan Ross said. “A deal governing what local governments can do by way of controlling fracking isn’t difficult. But it looks difficult in Colorado because the radical center isn’t represented in the legislature.


  “As a result, each side will now waste tens of millions fighting over a ballot measure, the TV stations will be flooded with the usual parade of misleading ads, and no one will win, because whatever the outcome in the fall, each side will be back next year to fight on in other arenas. What a waste.”


“We’ve seen this type of failure again and again in recent years,” Ross continued. “ On civil unions, gun control, renewable energy, and a host of other issues, the legislature either stumbles in trying to find the middle ground, or goes through the motions without trying hard. “


The problem isn’t with the legislators, Ross said. It’s with Colorado's century-old  election system. “So few people participate in primary elections that the candidates are forced to appeal to the fringes of the two major parties,” Ross said, “But there aren’t many voters there. Most voters are in the radical center, where compromise isn’t a dirty word and where problems are solved based on the best ideas out there.”


The Coalition has won approval from ballot regulators to circulate petitions to place on the ballot a new election system that would result in the election of far more problem-solving candidates. Its proposal would abolish taxpayer funded primary elections, and replace them with a two-stage election system in which every voter could vote for any  candidate on the ballot in their district, regardless of their or the candidate’s party affiliation.


Details of the proposal are at the campaign’s web site: changepoliticsnow.org



Ryan Ross/Director


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