ranked ballots toronto

John Tory supports ranked ballots for Toronto elections

Big changes could be afoot for the Toronto's electoral process as Mayor John Tory has indicated his support for moving to a ranked ballot system in 2018. The idea, long advocated for by groups such as RaBIT, has also been marked as a priority for the Wynne Liberals leading into the next Toronto election. While the provincial government ultimately has the say, an endorsement from the current mayor is significant.

Tory first mentioned his support for the idea on CP24 before telling the Star that he thinks "change and reform are needed" when it comes to our governance system. Ranked ballot systems in other cities have led to more diverse councils and greater turnout at the polls. It would also likely lead to increased turnover in elected councillors, something that Toronto struggles with (last year only one incumbent was not reelected).

Ranked ballots would shake up our current system by taking account of what is often referred to as run-off votes in the event that a candidate receives less than 50 per cent of the vote. Because voters have ranked their choices, in the event that a majority is not achieved, the candidate with the least first place votes can be eliminated and the second choice of his or her supporters can be applied to those politicians that remain.

Many believe ranked ballots are a better system than the one we currently use, and now that support includes some rather influential people. Should such a change come into play for 2018, watch out for lots of public consultations before an ultimate decision is made.

Photo by Jesse Milns


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