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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