I recently learned that the Ontario government intends to allow municipalities the option of using ranked ballots starting in 2018. An online survey has been posted to gather public comment until July 27 (scroll down). The idea being examined is to allow ranked ballots for some or all municipal elected office. A voter would rank candidates 1, 2 or 3 etc. according to preference.
“If your first choice candidate is eliminated, ranked ballots take into account the next choices on your ballot. This helps to ensure that the winning candidate(s) receive support from a majority of voters more often.”
I think it’s an idea with merit. Certainly, a lot of people would like to implement this voting option provincially and federally. Maybe, experimenting with it at the municipal level could be the start of something bigger.
Use of a ranked ballot is expected to reduce strategic voting, negative campaigning and vote splitting. In Innisfil, it may be particularly useful for the positions of Mayor and Deputy-Mayor since these individuals automatically sit on County Council and vote for County Warden.
Of course, once we have the option of ranked voting, we’d have to ensure Council actually adopts it. Who will be the first to test the waters?