Ranked Ballots for Canada

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The Criteria for a New Electoral System

The Special Committee on Electoral Reform has been defined and we couldn’t be happier.

All the criteria point clearly to a Ranked or Preferential Voting system and practically rule out a number of others. Here are the official criteria:

(a) Effectiveness and legitimacy: that the proposed measure would increase public confidence among Canadians that their democratic will, as expressed by their votes, will be fairly translated and that the proposed measure reduces distortion and strengthens the link between voter intention and the election of representatives;

(b) Engagement: that the proposed measure would encourage voting and participation in the democratic process, foster greater civility and collaboration in politics, enhance social cohesion and offer opportunities for inclusion of underrepresented groups in the political process;

(c) Accessibility and inclusiveness: that the proposed measure would avoid undue complexity in the voting process, while respecting the other principles, and that it would support access by all eligible voters regardless of physical or social condition;

(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;

(e) Local representation: that the proposed measure would ensure accountability and recognize the value that Canadians attach to community, to Members of Parliament understanding local conditions and advancing local needs at the national level, and to having access to Members of Parliament to facilitate resolution of their concerns and participation in the democratic process;

Several of the criteria are straight out of the letters that some of our members wrote or from our web site. This is not to say we had any influence, but rather that ranked voting is based on mainstream ideas of how fair elections should work.

In the weeks to follow, we will go through the criteria one by one to show how each of them is best satisfied by ranked voting.

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