Changes Coming to 2018 Municipal Elections (Ranked Ballots)

The Ontario government passed sweeping legislation on Tuesday (June 7, 2016)  that governs the 2018 municipal elections and beyond. The legislation gives municipalities:

  • the option of using ranked ballots to elect councillors
  • bans corporate and union donations
  • shortens the campaign period
  • allows regulation of 3rd party advertising

Ranked balloting is likely the biggest change that voters in Brampton will notice if the city takes action to implement. A ranked ballot allows a voter to prioritize candidates in order of preference. Advocates say that the winner in a ranked ballot election has a greater mandate as support is provided from a majority of voters. They argue that candidates also have to be more civil in the campaign and engage more with voters to create broader support for their candidacy.

Had a ranked ballot been implemented in Brampton for the 2016 elections, the following elected officials would have likely earned enough voter support to win their election:

  • Linda Jeffrey, Mayor (49.3%)
  • Grant Gibson, City Councillor Ward 1/5 (44.2%)
  • Elaine Moore, Regional Councillor Ward 1/5 (52.1%)
  • Pat Fortini, City Councillor Ward 7/8 (39.3%)
  • Gael Miles, Regional Councillor Ward 7/8 (50.4%)

The following elected officials would likely have received a significant challenge to winning their election:

  • Doug Whillans, City Councillor Ward 2/6 (25.4%)
  • Michael Palleschi, Regional Councillor Ward 2/6 (36.1%)
  • Jeff Bowman, City Councillor Ward 3/4 (25.0%)
  • Martin Medeiros, Regional Councillor Ward 3/4 (21.9%)
  • Gurpreet Dhillon, City Councillor Ward 9/10 (41.0%)
  • John Sproveiri, Regional Councillor Ward 9/10 (29.1%)

Debate in the 444 municipalities across Ontario about implementing ranked ballots for 2018 is sure to be interesting. Reasons for not implementing will likely be lengthy, however, the province has given ample time to prepare. Will Brampton’s council make the right decision?

See News Release:
Ontario Passes Legislation to Allow Ranked Ballot Option for Municipal Elections

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Laila Zarrabi YanPat McGrail Recent comment authors
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Pat McGrail
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Pat McGrail

Ranked ballots are just one element in a voting system. They may be used in both winner-take-all and proportional voting systems. The Ontario legislation allows both. Ranked ballot systems (both single-member and multi-member) are demonstrated on the MAH website http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page11120.aspx. Only multi-member systems are proportional. Proportional ranked ballots will give the best results for electing city councils. Multi-member wards or at-large voting are needed for proportionality with ranked ballots. The system is called PR-STV. Mayoral and leadership elections are entirely different. There is only one winner. There can never be proportionality. So winner-take-all Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is used. RCV… Read more »

Laila Zarrabi Yan
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Laila Zarrabi Yan

“Will it make the right decision?” Based on previous history of council votes, I’m inclined to believe ‘no’. SHOULD they vote to have the ranked system? Absolutely, yes.