Just over a year ago, the provincial government made good on its promise to enable Ontario municipalities to use ranked ballots in their local elections. Since then, London City Council voted decisively to switch to ranked ballots for their 2018 election and Kingston City Council voted to hold a referendum in 2018 on whether that city should make the change.
Unfortunately, here in Toronto, our city council has shown much less leadership. Not only did our council vote against ranked ballots, they even voted against a proposal to ask citizens what they thought about using them.
Here at RaBIT, these disappointing decisions have convinced us that we need to shift our main focus away from politicians at City Hall and towards mobilizing the people that councillors can’t ignore: voters. After all, the only way to get city council to move forward on ranked ballots is to make sure that councillors get the message that citizens are fed up with the broken first-past-the-post system and want change now!
That’s where you come in.
For the past few months, we’ve focused on building a stronger organization, better able to educate voters about ranked ballots and coordinate volunteers working to make this an issue that politicians aiming to get elected in 2018 cannot ignore.
We have been looking for ways to get supporters like you more involved in RaBIT’s work. We also need to learn how to do a better job of educating the public, get the word out about ranked ballots, and mobilize voters. Fortunately, something called the DemocracyXchange is offering us a chance to do all of this at the same time.
DemocracyXchange is a conference being organized by the team behind DemocracyKit, a new online resource designed to open up politics by helping citizens of all levels of political experience (including no experience) run better election campaigns at the local level. To that end, they’ve organized DemocracyXchange to help provide new campaigners with “the practical campaign skills and tools individuals and startup teams need to connect and make change happen.”
RaBIT is planning on sending a delegation to the conference and we want you to be involved. Interested in attending the event? Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you’d like to join the RaBIT delegation by Friday, 20 October.
Not able to make it yourself? Tickets are $200 and we’d like to be able to lower that cost for any RaBIT supporters who’d like to attend, so why not donate to RaBIT to help sponsor our delegation?
We’re only getting warmed-up
With next year’s municipal elections only a year away, RaBIT is shifting into a higher gear. We’ve got some exciting news about a few new projects we’ve started, and some new ways for you to get involved, all of which we’ll be sharing in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, if you haven’t signed our petition asking Toronto City Council to ditch the broken first-past-the-post system and switch to ranked ballots, please do so. The last time we ran a petition, it received almost 10,000 signatures and played a huge part in helping to convince the Government of Ontario to change the law. We believe we can do the same with Toronto City Council and this petition.