Over the holidays, we read many of the “best of” lists that appear at year’s end. When it comes to the “best” of 2015, for RaBIT and our campaign to make Toronto's elections more fair, diverse, and inclusive, 2015 really was a year worth celebrating!
Thanks to you and your unwavering support, RaBIT accomplished an enormous amount:
- We assembled a Board of Directors and incorporated as a not-for-profit
- With 123Ontario, we organized a three-day ranked ballot summit that brought together electoral reform activists across North America
- We lobbied the provincial government to fulfill their 2014 campaign promise to give all Ontario municipalities the option of using ranked ballots
- We cheered as Mayor John Tory came out strongly in support of ranked ballots
- We worked with the provincial government to roll out an extensive public consultation so every Ontarian could provide their views on how ranked ballots should be implemented
- We provided expertise as part of a working group convened by the provincial government to inform the drafting of their upcoming legislation
- We met with 18 councillors at City Hall to advocate for switching to ranked ballots, including all new councillors elected for the first time in 2014
Unfortunately, 2015 has also presented some challenges, most notably a disappointing City Council vote in October. However, even this incident demonstrated the growing strength of our movement as this anti-ranked ballot motion was immediately and roundly denounced as self-serving and anti-democratic. It's encouraging that many councillors who voted for this motion have already recanted their support for it.
Still, much work remains to be done. In fact, 2016 will be the most important and critical year yet for RaBIT and ranked ballots in Toronto.
Here is a quick selection of what’s on the horizon:
- By spring, we expect the provincial government to introduce the enabling legislation promised in 2014
- Once this legislation is introduced, we will redouble our efforts at persuading City Council to switch to ranked ballots for future Toronto municipal elections
- We will soon launch a new website and distributed leadership platform tools which will enable us to educate and involve more and more Torontonians in our campaign
Clearly, 2016 is going to be a big year – the biggest for RaBIT yet! None of what has been accomplished would have been possible without your hard work and support, and none of our plans for the future will succeed without more of the same.
We promise that we are stepping up the fight – we hope you’ll step up with us. Together, let’s make sure 2016 is a historic year for democratic reform in Toronto!