Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Life Is Like An At-Large Election

Life is like an at-large election. You don’t have to make everybody happy. You don’t have to make a majority of people happy.

Most elections in the United States are “first-past-the-post.” This means that no matter how many candidates are running, whoever gets the most votes wins. If there are three or more candidates and nobody wins a majority, the first place finisher prevails.

However, in most cases there are only two candidates, or the minor party candidates are of little consequence. You have gain a majority of voters to win.

At-large elections are different. In an at-large election, a large field runs for a certain number of seats. For example, in elections for the Cincinnati City Council, there are nine open spots and voters get nine choices. The top nine finishers win a spot on council.

In the 1991 Cincinnati Council election, 99,048 people voted. A man named Tyrone Yates won by finishing ninth among the 26 candidates. Mr. Yates won 36,548 votes. 36.9% of voters selected Mr. Yates and 63.1% did not include him.

It did not matter that 63% of voters left Mr. Yates off the ballot. He won fair and square. 

Not only that, but since in 1991 their were 187,376 registered voters in Cincinnati, Mr. Yates won just 19% of all possible voters. This is not uncommon in Cincinnati Council elections. In fact, it’s a solid showing.

I’d say that life, and blogging as well, is like an at-large election. There are only so many people you have to make happy. The rest of them you don’t have to make happy.

Even better about life is that you can decide just how many people you need to satisfy for your definition of success. You might need a lot of people in your life or you might need just a few. 

Blogging is the same way. You just need a certain number of people to be on board with you for success. Most people can ignore you and it will make no difference.

Just like in an at-large election, we must figure out who we need in life and who can move on. You can’t make all of the people happy all of the time and you don’t need to.

Up top is a picture of what I’ll term the “ballot box of life.” Who are your core supporters in life? Their backing is all you need in that ballot box.

July 18, 2008 - Posted by | Blogging, Cincinnati, Politics, Relationships | , , , , ,


  1. better to have 800 people reading your blog that appreciate what you write then 10,000 mindless assholes looking for sports scores or whos doing who in hollywood. Keep it up neil your sucess is obvious and your writting is appreciated and informative.

    Comment by bill brady | July 21, 2008

  2. Very good. Thank you Bill.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 21, 2008

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