Ranked Ballots for Canada

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The Front National and electoral systems

The French regional elections of December 2015 demonstrate quite dramatically the main danger of our plurality voting system, and its solution.

Taking advantage of the anger of the French and of the low turnout in regional elections, the far-right Front National party managed to place first in several regions with 30-40% of votes in the first ballot where only 48% of the electorate voted. By the time of the second round voters rallied, and in each case it’s another party that won the majority in the second round, and the participation rate jumped to 57%. In most cases, the FN had not significantly increased its percentage of votes between the first and second round.

In a system like ours in Canada, there is always the risk that a candidate or many from the same party can become the representative of a region even though a large majority of the region do not want him or her, with a 31-30-30-9 result.

France, like many francophones and other countries, uses a two-round voting system, a variant of the preferential vote (ranked ballot) system that we offer. If after the first ballot no one has reached 50%, there is a second ballot with fewer candidates, to ensure that a candidate or party obtains an absolute majority.

The electoral system we propose is a little simpler than the French version, a single round with the choice of the second round included on the ballot as the second choice. The result is similar: someone who is unable to obtain an absolute majority will not be elected.

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