Because of you, we're closer than we've ever been to having a ranked ballot election in Toronto.
It's been an amazing few months--since the Ontario government announced ranked ballot consultations in May, the idea of using ranked ballots in local elections has seen a surge in support, from National Post columnist Andrew Coyne, to The Globe and Mail, to the Toronto Star. While momentum is on our side, there is still more to do. We need your help.
With promising signs that later this year Ontario will introduce a bill allowing its towns and cities to adopt ranked ballots, it is critical to demonstrate strong public support to ensure this historic democratic reform happens. That’s where you come in. Please tell the provincial government you support ranked ballots before consultations end on Monday July 27, 2015.
If you're in a rush, or using a mobile device, the easiest way to have your say is by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have more time to craft a response, visit the Ranked Ballots Public Consultation website. Scroll to the bottom to make your submission.
What to write? Tell the province you would like them to make it possible for Toronto to use ranked ballots to elect our mayor and council. The following points may resonate with you, and be helpfulin drafting your response:
- Fairer, friendlier and more diverse elections: Ranked ballots should be used in municipal elections because they lead to more positive campaigns, more collaborative councils, more diverse governments, and more choice for voters, while ensuring winners have majority support. Ranked ballots eliminate strategic voting and ‘vote splitting’, meaning people can vote for the candidate of their choice without worry.
- Local choice: Municipalities should be able to choose to use ranked ballots to elect none, some, or all of their elected offices because they know what's best for their communities.
- Public consultations: Changing a voting system should require significant public support. As every city or town should be able to choose the system that works for them, they should also be able to determine the extent of public consultation required to make a change, as long as the process is accessible, transparent, and fair. Public consultations should focus on educating people on their options, and encouraging dialogue within the community.
- Public availability of all election results:Elections should be transparent and fair. That’s why the results of each round of counting in ranked ballot elections should be publicly available, and should show where each candidate's support comes from.
You are essential to changing the Municipal Elections Act so that Toronto and other Ontario municipalities can choose the way we elect our councillors and mayors.
Please submit your comments in support of ranked ballots by Monday July 27, 2015.
Michael Urban and the RaBIT Team