Its been awhile since I’ve posted, so I figured why not 2 on the same day (plus it gives me something else to do besides continue lamenting last night’s tragic Maple Leafs loss).
I just wanted to say I’m very pleased to read that the ranked ballot initiative proposed for Toronto Mayoralty elections – better known by the group name that supports it – RaBIT – survived a 3-3 committee vote to indefinitely table/defer it (which would have in essence killed it) and now goes on to the full Toronto City Council for a vote on whether to recommend to the province that Toronto wishes to change the Mayor’s election to Ranked Ballots. If the RaBIT page is to be believed, they already have a majority on City Council who will support that move, with others perhaps indicating in private they will support it when it comes up for vote. (The committee could also have voted to recommend to City Council that they supported RaBIT, but that also got “defeated” – likely in a 3-3 split, so it was presented to City Council without a recommendation in support or against it)
In case you wonder what ranked ballot is:
Under a ranked ballot system, voters rank their favourite candidates — 1 for their favourite, 2 for their second favourite, and so on — rather than selecting their one top choice. A candidate must earn a majority, not just more votes than the next-best candidate. If nobody has more than 50 per cent when all of the first-place votes are tallied, the last-place candidate is eliminated, and the second choices of the people who voted for that person are immediately allocated to the others. The “instant runoff” process of elimination continues until somebody reaches the 50-plus-one threshold.
All the major political parties use a form of ranked or “Instant Runoff” vote, so it shouldnt be a big step to introduce it here. Personally, I wish RaBiT would have been a bit more bold and asked for this to apply to City Councillor elections as well, but perhaps they figured they should be cautious about it.
Oh, and if you wish to see what a legislative “poison pill” attached to a bill looks like, or at least an attempted one, take a look at some of the “amendments” that the Ranked Ballot Initiative opponents on the committee tried to insert into the bill. The purpose of trying to attach these is to make the main bill unpalatable to supporters and cause them to vote against it. Fortunately, the 3 Councillors who supported RaBIT being given a chance to be debated voted on by the entire City Council were having none of it (i.e. I love Mammolitti’s motion to amend it to recommend that a province of Toronto be created).