Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:27 am Post subject: Why should Toronto consider ranked balloting ahead of 2014
What the #!%*? Why should Toronto consider ranked balloting ahead of 2014 vote?
A proposal for the alternative electoral system is before a committee at City Hall and could be presented to councillors in the fall. The Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto is hoping the city’s first-past-the-post electoral system can be replaced ahead of the 2014 vote. The alternative voting system could have changed things for George Smitherman, who ran against Rob Ford in the last municipal election.
In this occasional feature, the National Post tells you everything you need to know about a complicated issue.
... A proposal for the alternative electoral system is before a committee at City Hall and could be presented to councillors in the fall. The Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto is hoping the city’s first-past-the-post electoral system can be replaced ahead of the 2014 vote.
[....] ( psst -- I've deleted the description of how the new system would work. Reading it makes you wonder what's wrong with the existing system? The dissatisfaction with the elections comes from people don't like the results of the [i]last election.)[/i] Just an aside from Bugs.
According to the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, the system would eliminate vote splitting and strategic voting worries. Politicians could continue to run even if they support another candidate by simply encouraging their supporters to put the other candidate as their second choice. Dave Meslin, of the Toronto initiative, says this would keep more candidates, think of 2010 mayoral candidates Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson, on the ballot.
Q: Speaking of Mr. Rossi and Ms. Thomson, if this system had been in place during the last election, would Rob Ford have won?
A: That’s hard to say, but Mr. Ford did not receive more than 50% of the vote. Ranked ballots would have made the election race more interesting, said Mr. Meslin, since fewer candidates would have felt the need to drop out.
I've deleted more details ... worth reading if you're interested. But in what is clear is that they are in a rush to get this system in place before the next election.
Q: How would the new system be implemented?
A: While Mr. Meslin doesn’t think the issue will need to be sent to a referendum, he said it must receive the support of both the municipal and provincial governments.“We need an amendment either to the municipal elections act or the City of Toronto Act,” Mr. Meslin said. In the meantime, there is the slow process of studies and reviews. Mr. Ford’s executive committee and council’s government management committee have asked city election officials to study the runoff proposal.
I find all of this disturbing. For one thing, there's the angle of dickering with the vote. It's too complex to be understood by the public on a visceral level. The present system has the virtue of allowing scrutineers from the candidates observe the process. Counting the votes for, in the present system, is complex enough. Different HQs keep running counts on each poll, etc. so there's an independence of counting the vote.
This system will blow that all to smithereens. I can only imagine the deputy returning officer having to count second choices and third choices as well.
And if it isn't done at that level, it goes behind the curtain of bureaucracy, and the first thing you know, they'll be telling us who the new boss is, and it's some anonymous bureacrat. How will the 'public' know what the results are if civil servants are counting and calculating them?
Second, it is clearly motivated by an anti-Rob Ford animus. And it's so smug that I personally find the tone repellant. Sorry, but you have to have a better reason than that to change centuries-old electoral practices. It can't be because you can't stand Rob Ford.
And yes, if you understand the symbology involved, you probably do have to have a referendum to change centuries old traditions.
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Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:10 pm Post subject:
Of course this is Rob Ford motivated;
How many times did we hear the term "proportional representation" and "ranked balloting" from 1993 till 2004?
The left as per usual wants its cake and to eat it too.
They don't want to have to vote for someone they don't "love" but at the same time they don't want their choice to result in a candidate they really don't like.
I wouldn't worry too much however;
During the 2007 referendum on proportional representations Toronto ridings voted against it 16 - 5.
The problem is that Ford's approval rating is in the 40's, way up from the 20's that the left was touting earlier this year and it seems to be holding in the mid to low 40's, basically the burbs like him, Toronto proper does not.
Which means that if two of Adam Vaughan, Olivia Chow, George Smitherman, Karen Stintz, or Gord Perks opt to run for Mayor you get another term of Rob Ford with CityTV calling the election 10 minutes after 8PM on election night.
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Why should Toronto consider ranked balloting ahead of 2014