Elections in the blood

While looking back, on this Armistice Day, at a book recording the names and activities of the WWI army unit my grandfather served in, I ran across a letter of his. The letter is from much later, 1966, during a trip from his then-new home in California back to his old home, Duluth, Minnesota. it was addressed to my mom and aunt. (Remember when people sent real letters–in longhand?)

Among the activities on this trip to Minnesota that he writes about in this four-page letter is the following:

Charlie and I are busy as ever canvassing the range towns. Thursday 11th and Friday 12th last week we covered a lot of miles and I am sure did a lot of good. We are going up again this week and then at least one more trip, that should take care of the range. The last trip up the range will be to contact the newspaper shops and place the ads. Charlie is spending quite a lot of money, at least $1000.00 and that’s just for the primary. So let’s hope for him that it pays off. A fortunate thing for Charlie is that he does have a lot of contacts on the range like attorneys and bankers and business places too that he has done business with in the office of registrar of deeds. And I am sure that will do him a lot of good, in fact they tell him he doesn’t have anything to worry about. All sounds good (but like they say, nothing is a cinch at election time). The primary date is September 13th so he has four weeks yet to sweat it out.

“The range” refers to the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. I remember my grandfather talking about Charlie, but I have no other details. I do not even know if he won the election.

Photos of the WWI memorabilia, the perusal of which led to the above discovery, are posted at my Flickr page.

4 thoughts on “Elections in the blood

  1. Hmm… not a bad idea. You could stipulate that if a State/ Province is currently entitled to (say) seven seats, you choose eight candidates by a PR-STV count, recount the ballots among those eight only to decide which seven of them get to sit right away, and then further choose by STV which six of those seven stay in office if the State/ Province drops a seat. If List-PR is used, the D’Hondt or Laguë divisors would determine the order. Anything but “first past the quota” for an issue so central to the Senate balance of power.
    Alan is right that the square (or a fortiori the cube) root will fluctuate less than the actual population. The latter would need to nearly double, to sixteen-ninths, to move from three seats to four. You could also stipulate that no State/ Province could change by more than one seat more or less at any one (triennial?) re-allocation.

  2. Err, sorry. Fat fingers, small phone screen…
    But actually on topic, could you access the returns for that election year and look for a Charlie among the candidates?

  3. I checked and there was a Charles Christensen (DFL), who lost to Ancher Nelsen (R) in 1966 for the second district congressional seat. I don’t know if this helps or not. Also, if you visit Kansas City, go to the WWI Museum. It’s a must see.

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