Tuesday, June 24, 2014

An X for a 123

The provincial election has just passed and after a brief respite, the municipal election will begin to simmer until the deadline for nominations on September 12th passes and then talk of local politics promises to boil steadily until October 27th.  Well, that's only for a minority who might listen at all.  Despite being the site of a highly contested seat, only 43.3% of voters in Windsor-West cast a ballot in the provincial election [source].

Voters are a largely disenchanted lot. And the reasons why are numerous. People are turned off by partisan bickering and attack ads.  People want to vote with their principles but are told that if they do so, they are 'splitting the vote' and they should instead vote for someone else.  And the parties themselves rarely change between elections and the faces that represent them don't change that much either, especially when you only glace at them from a distance.

There are those who chide people for not voting. They pronounce that people will 'lose their right to complain' if they don't vote.  They pronounce that young people 'just don't care' about politics. And that's wrong because the problem isn't with the people of Ontario.
 
The problem is with the first past-the-post voting system, as beautifully illustrated in this video:


People want to vote 'for something' and if that's not there, they are not going to vote.

This Ontario election, I voted *for something*.  I voted for the party that promised to bring ranked ballots to municipal elections

Ranked ballots:




It even works wonders in the Animal Kingdom. And the United States.

If all goes well, there will be ranked ballot elections in Toronto in 2018.  Already, similar campaigns to bring ranked ballots to the voters in Barrie, Ottawa, Vancouver, and London have begun.

Is it time to bring a 123Campaign to Windsor?  I really don't know.  To find out, I'm going to ask the candidates for Mayor and City Council come September 12th, to help me decide how I'm going to vote in October.

2 comments:

Paul Synnott said...

Such a group will certainly benefit Windsor. Wynne's promise was to " give municipalities the option of using ranked ballots as an alternative to first-past-the-post in their own elections." (The only reason Toronto is separate is because they're governed by the City of Toronto Act as opposed to the Municipal Act for the rest of the Province) Much the same as the Auditor General position, it gives municipalities the choice. I'd prefer that they simply change it and help municipalities with the transition, but as it stands it looks like the municipalities are going to have to bear the cost, which will then be used by most to deny it.

Mita Williams said...

Thanks for the additional insight, Paul! It's appreciated.