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.
On September 16, history was made in Ontario! That's the day the Government of Ontario officially passed the regulations that make it possible for any one of the province's 444 municipalities to switch from our broken first-past-the-post voting system to using a ranked ballot.
Now the question is, which city will be the first to take the plunge?
Please join us on Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00 PM to learn about the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, Bill 181 and draft regulations allowing introducing ranked ballots for municipal elections in Ontario. Please RSVP here.
RaBIT Organizers - Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and Downtown Action Team Leads
Volunteer Position - June to October 2016 (approximately 4 months), with possibility of extension. 5 -10 hours a week. 4 positions in Toronto, Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke.
Deadline For Applications: June 17
The bill that will open the door to ranked ballots for local elections in Ontario passed second reading at Queen’s Park last Tuesday, a mere two weeks after its introduction!
If Bill 181 -- The Municipal Elections Modernization Act -- passes, it will be historic legislation, offering the opportunity for Toronto, and other Ontario towns and cities, to abandon the outdated first-past-the post voting system currently used for elections at every level of government in Canada. We are beyond excited at the prospect of seeing the beginning of the end of first-past-the-post, and the start of something fairer and more inclusive for our city.
This past week has been a big one for us, but things are only getting bigger this coming week.
This Monday April 11, at 1pm, our provincial government will begin Second Reading debate for Bill 181, the Municipal Elections Modernization Act, 2016, the Local Elections legislation that will allow Ontario cities and towns to use ranked ballots in their elections.
Since last Monday's announcement and First Reading of the bill, there has been an outpouring of support from the public, politicians like Mayor John Tory, and influential media like the Toronto Star editorial board. If this bill passes, it will be a first for Canada - the first legislation allowing ranked ballots to be used in municipal elections!
On April 4, 2016, the Ontario Government announced historic new legislation which, if passed, would give Toronto and all of Ontario’s other 443 towns and cities the ability to abandon our outdated and unfair first-past-the-post voting system, and switch to ranked ballots.
We have never been closer to getting ranked ballot elections in Toronto.
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!