Ranked Ballots for Canada

Parties elect their leaders with 1,2,3 ranked ballots. Let's elect MPs that way!

Is this or is this not Proportional Representation?

Some people love Proportional Representation, where the proportion of MPs of a given a party in the legislature is close to the percentage of votes for that party or for its candidates.

Some people hate Proportional Representation, because they want to give their democratic proxy to a local individual, not to a party.

The ranked ballot is a voting system that most of both groups agree is an improvement.  It means that no one can be elected unless they get at least 50% of the vote.  You can’t become an MP if the majority of the constituents vote “against” you that is to say vote for other candidates.  Being divisive and “splitting the vote” stops being a good way of getting elected, because you need the second-choice votes of those who support the other candidates.  It means that if you vote for a candidate who comes in third or fourth, your vote is not wasted: your second choice then gets counted, and even your third choice if your second choice also ranks low.  In a close race between a candidate you don’t like, one that you like, and one that you tolerate, you don’t need to vote strategically for the one you tolerate for fear that the one you don’t like will get more votes; You rank them and if the one you like comes third, your second-choice vote for the one you tolerate will count toward that candidate.

It’s a system that’s acceptable to all major political parties because it’s the way every one of them elect their leaders.  It’s acceptable to independent candidates because it gives them a fairer chance at being elected.

In three provinces, PEI, Ontario, and BC, there have been divisive referenda to choose between some form of proportional representation and the status quo, and the status quo has always won.  The ranked ballot system is not proportional, but has many of the same benefits as proportional representation without attracting as much opposition.  This initiative has support from people who were on both sides of those referenda.

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