Join the fun! RaBIT's First Meetup

A few weeks ago, we told you that we were working on some new initiatives as we ramped up our efforts ahead of the 2018 municipal elections here in Toronto.

We’ve already told you about our participation in the DemocracyXchange campaigning conference and our partnership with WillowWood school to use ranked ballots for their student elections. And you’ve surely signed our petition right?

Now we want to provide you with a new opportunity to get directly involved in our work. 

Ranked ballots? “There’s an app for that”

Here at RaBIT, we’re always looking for new ways to make experiencing better democracy more accessible to more Torontonians. That’s why we were so excited when we discovered ElectionBuddy, a web app that brings ranked ballots to your smartphone or desktop. By combining a simple user interface with the ability to vote from anywhere, ElectionBuddy makes it easy to use ranked balloting for anything from choosing the next book for your book club to picking tomorrow night’s movie with a group of friends.

RaBIT recently put ElectionBuddy to the test by partnering with RaBIT supporter Jeff Clayton. Jeff is a teacher at WillowWood School, a private K-12 school in North York. Jeff wanted to teach his students about different types of voting systems by using ranked ballots for the school’s student elections. Check out Jeff’s super-cute and informative video on our YouTube page. As you’ll see, the election was a great success!

Shifting into a Higher Gear

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.

Ranked Ballot Victory Party! (Featuring a Delicious Election)

As we mentioned in this post, on May 1st the city council of London, Ontario, voted to make their city the first Canadian jurisdiction in living memory to enact positive electoral reform.

This is a big deal. Here at RaBIT HQ, we're so excited that we've decided to celebrate by hosting a Victory Party for London on Thursday, June 15th, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

London Makes History

On the evening of Monday, May 1st, London made history.

That’s right, with 10 votes in favour and only 4 opposed — and with only hours left before the legal deadline — London City Council voted to abandon the first-past-the-post voting system and switch to ranked ballots.

Ranked Ballots at the Oscars

Did you know that when the Oscar winners are announced this coming Sunday, ranked ballots will have played a decisive role in deciding who wins?

In fact, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences uses ranked ballots in two ways.

Town Hall Meeting - March 6, 2017

Check out event details here.

You are invited to a special Town Hall meeting on Monday, March 6 at 7:00pm, to discuss RaBIT’s plan for moving forward. The event is being held at Metro Hall.

At the Town Hall meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to hear a brief update on ranked ballots in Toronto, and our plans for our next steps. More importantly, we’d like to hear your ideas on how best to mobilize our fellow Torontonians and get city council back on board with ranked ballots.

We hope you'll join us on March 6 to catch up & share your ideas for the future of ranked ballots in Toronto!

View event details - everyone is welcome!

Photo Credit: By The original uploader was SimonP at English Wikipedia - Taken by SimonP in April 2005 - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1911689

We're Hiring!

RaBIT Is Recruiting Two New Volunteer Members of Its Board of Directors - Apply Now!

RaBIT is upping its game as we continue and expand our fight to bring ranked ballots -- and the more fair, diverse, inclusive, and friendly politics they can help create -- to Toronto’s municipal elections.

As we take this next step and work to further expand the network of ranked ballots supporters across the whole of Toronto, we need to increase the size of our team.

Thank You to Members of Council Who Supported Improved Democracy

On Wednesday, 14 December 2016, Toronto City Council voted - by the slim margin of 22 to 17 - against a motion to have city staff investigate the possibility of creating an independent citizens’ reference panel to examine whether Toronto should switch to ranked ballots for future elections.

Council Votes Down Public Consultation -- Moving Forward

What a disappointing couple of weeks it’s been in Toronto for voting reform. On December 1, we went into Toronto’s Executive Committee full of hope that we were about to take the next step towards ranked ballots in Toronto. Instead, the committee voted against a motion to have city staff investigate creating a citizens' reference panel--a representative and independent resident-driven panel--to examine whether Toronto should switch to ranked ballots for future elections. Two weeks later, City Council voted against a similar motion by a margin of 22 to 17. 

That’s right--after declaring last fall that they didn’t reject ranked ballots, but that they only wanted to make sure public consultation would be mandatory for their adoption, the Executive Committee & Council rejected … public consultation.