Ranked Ballots for Canada

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

Principle D: Integrity

On May 10, the government released its principles for electoral reform. In this series we are looking at those principles one by one.

(d) Integrity: that the proposed measure can be implemented while safeguarding public trust in the election process, by ensuring reliable and verifiable results obtained through an effective and objective process that is secure and preserves vote secrecy for individual Canadians;

Besides FPTP, ranked ballots are the second most commonly used method of election in Canada. It is used by all political parties to select their leaders and their candidates. It is used by MPs to elect the speaker. In the past it was used in three provinces, and in the future it will be used in Ontario municipalities. It already enjoys widespread public trust. It has never been rejected by the electorate in a referendum. It is used in many English-speaking countries that share our parliamentary values, for instance Australia, New Guinea, Fiji, and Nauru in national elections, in the US and the UK for many municipal elections and in the House of Lords, in Indian presidential and legislative elections, and Irish presidential elections. In the French-speaking world, the closely related two-round system is used in elections in France and close to 100 other countries, including most French and many English speaking countries.

Because whether ranked ballot or two-round, the ballot is identical to the current FPTP ballot and the counting is very similar, the process will remain reliable and verifiable.

For preserving the secrecy of the vote, single-member districts have a huge advantage over multi-member districts. In single-member districts, the MP represents everyone in the district. If we introduce multi-member districts, citizens who require services or want representation from their MP will need to choose which one to approach. That can be considered a reliable indication of who the individual voted for.

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