September 2020 Council Update

Supporters of ranked ballots have already sent hundreds of messages to Mayor Tory and various members of city council asking them to defend ranked ballots and to proceed with public consultations.

But we still need your help. While the final decision on whether to go ahead with consultations will take place at a meeting of city council on Wednesday, 30 September, there was a meeting of council’s Executive Committee last week which did not go well for us as the majority of that committee voted to not proceed with consultations.

The thing is, we’ve been here before - and we won big. Last year, the Special Committee on Governance voted against moving forward with ranked ballots but, due to strong pressure from people like you, city council reversed that decision and voted to start consultations. We need your help to do that again.

One more big push

If you have already emailed the mayor and your councillor in support of ranked ballots, thank you very, very much. If you’d like to do more, you can still help by asking a friend or family member to send an email as well.

If you haven’t yet sent an email, please consider doing so before Wednesday. It’s super easy:

  1. Send Mayor Tory (mayor_tory@toronto.ca) an email asking him to vote to continue public consultations on ranked ballots on 30 September. We’ve provided a sample email you can use below. (at the end of this email).
  2. Include your City Councillor on the same email (find their email here) and ask them to make the same commitment. Your councillor will pay more attention if you include your postal code so, if you feel comfortable doing so, please add it with your name at the end of the email.
  3. As always, if you haven’t already done so, please sign our petition. We’ve had a massive upsurge in signatures in the past week and it would be great to get our numbers up as high as possible before the council meeting on 30 September.

#TimetoTopple and #LondonLeads

With this big council vote coming up on Wednesday, we’re really excited to announce an event that is taking place the night before which we hope might impact the outcome. And you’re invited!

To help council understand the benefits of ranked ballots, our friends at Unlock Democracy and 123Ontario, the umbrella group for all the municipal ranked ballot initiatives in Ontario, are hosting a virtual crash course event focused on providing information about Ontario’s first ranked ballot election, which took place in London in 2018. 

They will be drawing from the extensive on-the-ground research they have been conducted for their soon-to-be-released #LondonLeads report which will highlight a number of really important benefits that ranked ballots brought to London.

Everyone is invited, and event details are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, 29 September, 2020

Time: 7.30pm Eastern Time

Cost: Free

Registration: Click here to register for the Zoom meeting.

(Sample email below)

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To: mayor_tory@toronto.ca; your councillor (find their email here)

Cc: info@rabit.ca

Subject: Please vote to defend ranked ballot consultations

Mayor Tory and Councillor XXXXX,

I understand that the City Clerk has recommended that public consultations on ranked ballots not go forward. I also understand that the justification for this recommendation is that the pandemic has made conducting these consultations more difficult. 

While I recognize that the current situation does make doing public consultations more difficult, the pandemic has also made the adoption of ranked ballots even more important than was the case before.

We know that women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour have been harmed the most by the pandemic - exactly the groups of people who have been traditionally marginalized in our society and who are underrepresented on City Council. But we also know that ranked ballots can help to solve this problem by helping women and racialized people get elected at higher rates than under a first-past-the-post system.  

In other words, we need ranked ballots to be a part of our strategy for overcoming and building a just recovery from this pandemic. They aren’t something that can wait until 2026, we need ranked ballots for the 2022 election. Thus, I am calling on you to vote to reaffirm Council’s direction to city staff to proceed with public consultations on ranked ballots at the City Council meeting on 30 September.

Thank you for your time, 

Name and Postal Code


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