London just made history

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London City Council just become the first government in Canada to abandon First-Past-the-Post!

Minutes ago, the City Council of London Ontario voted in favour of switching to a ranked ballot system for their 2018 municipal election.  This unprecedented decision makes London City Council the first and only government, anywhere in Canada, to abandon First-Past-the-Post.

Ranked ballots are a small and simple change that make local elections more fair, inclusive and friendly.  In an age of increasing political cynicism, it’s exciting to see change taking place towards electoral systems that deliver fair results, reduce negativity and encourage more voices to participate. Explore our website to learn more about the benefits of ranked ballots - and myths.  London City staff have also created some fantastic resources for citizens.

Recently introduced legislation in Ontario allows any of the province’s 444 municipalities to use ranked ballots for their local elections, but sadly 443 Councils decided to keep the status quo.  London has now put themselves on the map as the #1 leader of democratic renewal in Canada – a great gift to the country on our 150th birthday!

"I am so proud of my colleagues and my City on this historic accomplishment.” said Councillor Josh Morgan who lead the charge to bring Ranked Choice Voting to London. “Tonight’s vote was about strengthening our democracy and empowering Londoners with an electoral system that allows them to clearly express their preferences. London, Ontario is now at the center of democratic innovation and renewal in Canada."

Democratic reform only happens when citizens get involved. The switch to ranked ballots in London was strongly encouraged and supported by 123Ontario, 123London, the Urban League of London and Women and Politics.

“We're pleased that Council has taken the historic step of moving to a ranked ballot for our next municipal election”, said Wes Kinghorn, President of the Urban League of London. "We have now committed to a change that holds the potential for greater civility, diversity and choice for all Londoners in 2018”

"We're proud that our Council took a leadership position on ranked ballots and made equity in elections a priority” said Shawna Lewkowitz, founder of Women & Politics. "We are very optimistic that this change will have a positive impact on the number of women and racialized people who decide to run in future elections.”

Ranked ballots aren’t really new in Canada.  The Conservative Party just mailed out 250,000 ranked ballots for their leadership race, as will the NDP in September.  But next year’s municipal election in London will mark the first time in decades that voters in a general election will be able to rank their votes, anywhere in Canada.

This evening’s vote is historic.  Canada was the only OECD country that used First-Past-the-Post exclusively for all elections… until today.

Sign up here for free updates about democratic reform in London across Canada! 

 

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commented 2017-08-12 06:57:05 -0400 · Flag
commented 2017-08-12 06:53:55 -0400 · Flag
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commented 2017-05-02 00:09:20 -0400 · Flag
Fantastic news! So glad to hear 2018 will include election stories about ranked ballot use #LondonLeads
commented 2017-05-01 22:38:00 -0400 · Flag
Kudos to all involved. Important step forward. #LondonLeads
commented 2017-05-01 21:20:31 -0400 · Flag
Unfortunately, there appears to be a misunderstanding by the author about ranked ballot voting. This is NOT an abandonment of First Past The Post (FPTP), but a modification of it. Ranked ballots can be used in both proportional representation systems (a certain percentage of votes earns the same percentage of seats in the legislature) and FPTP (majority of votes gets to win the seat – all other votes are “lost.”) More information here: http://www.fairvote.ca/ranked-ballot-is-not-a-voting-system/
commented 2017-05-01 21:19:05 -0400 · Flag
Congratulations London. This is a simple, easy to use method and those against, only need to vote for one name as before.

Now if we can only get Justin Trudeau to change his mind and give us electoral reform that gives 40% of the votes 40% of the seats in Parliament. This is much fairer than the First Past the Post which gave his 35% of the votes 51% + of the seats or total control of Parliament.