Spring is finally in the air! Here at RaBIT HQ, we’re excited by the return of good weather, the important steps we’ve made towards our goal, and the opportunities that the coming months are bringing to push ranked ballots even closer to implementation. Keep reading for 3 important updates on our progress and how you can help to make voting better here in Toronto.
A Pro-Ranked Ballot Majority on Council
RaBIT’s main focus during the municipal election held in the fall of 2018 was on our Candidate Pledge Campaign. You may recall that we invited all candidates to pledge to do what was necessary to implement ranked ballots for the 2022 election. Ultimately, 98 candidates took the pledge and of those, 14 were elected to Toronto City Council, including Mayor John Tory.
For those of you keeping score at home, that means that a majority of the 26 member city council has now pledged to implement ranked ballots for the 2022 election! In other words, we are now closer to winning ranked ballots for Toronto than we’ve ever been.
Thank you to all the candidates who supported ranked ballots in the 2018 election campaign. You are all Champions of Democracy in our books.
Even though we now have a council majority committed to implementing ranked ballots, there is still a lot of work to do. We need to continue to hold our elected representatives accountable for the promises they made during the campaign and make sure that they take the steps necessary to make the switch to ranked ballots for the next election. We are also still working to bring additional councillors on board and expanding the circle of support for this common sense improvement to our voting system.
One way that we are pushing ranked ballots towards implementation is by making sure that they are on the agenda of the Special Committee on Governance - a committee created by city council to review Toronto’s governance structures in the aftermath of council’s reduction in size last summer. This committee will shortly begin public consultations and RaBIT will be organizing as many supporters as possible to attend and speak at the 5 public meetings that the committee will hold and to make pro-ranked ballot submissions through their online portal. We’ll be in touch again soon when we have more information and we hope we can count on you to send this important committee the message that ranked ballots are a critical change that is needed now.
Save these Dates!
RaBIT is also working to expand our volunteer and support base in preparation for the final push at council. We’ve started to hold monthly volunteer pub nights and the next one is coming up on the evening of 23 May starting at 7pm at the Firkin on the Bay in South Etobicoke. Check out the event page for all the details and to RSVP. We hope to see you there!
Finally, please also keep the evening of 18 June free for RaBIT’s annual fundraiser! As was the case in 2018 and 2017, this will be a great opportunity for RaBIT supporters to come together, have a good time, and celebrate the great successes that our movement has achieved in the past year, including:
- A Toronto City Council that is, for the first time, publicly committed to implementing ranked ballots
- London’s trailblazing and successful ranked ballot election last year
- Pro-ranked ballot referenda results in Kingston and Cambridge, Ontario
There will be music, there will be food and drink, there will be prizes, and, most importantly, there will be great people. We’ll be announcing more details for this event in the weeks to come, so watch this space. But in the meantime, circle 18 June on your calendar. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.