Toronto Election Reform Passes: Rob Ford's Chance of Reelection Just Fell to Zero


I just got an email informing me that the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto has passed the Provincial Parliament. Their ranked ballot initiative is my favorite voting system, hands down over proportional representation.

Hopefully it will catch on elsewhere. Basically the next time Toronto votes, they will rank the candidates instead of just choosing one.

So let's say we have Candidate X, Candidate Y, Candidate Z and Rob Ford. Voters will rank their favorites from their top choice to Rob Ford. The ballots will be counted and the lowest candidate will be dropped, the ballots for the lowest scoring candidate will then be re-counted with the votes going to the second choice candidate on the ballot. This process continues until some candidate gets 50%+1.

So you can go ahead and vote for your dark horse candidate who is behind in the polls. If that candidate doesn't win then your vote will go to your next favorite, then the candidate you can 'live with', then to the 'lesser of two evils'.

 In practical terms this means that Rob Ford's career in Toronto is over. Despite his international reputation as an out of control alcoholic and drug user, Ford has continued to enjoy support of around 40% in Toronto. In a multi-candidate race that could, easily, be enough to win him a second term. Under the new system though he doesn't stand much of a chance. Ford is simply not the 'second choice' of very many people.

People either love or hate Ford and as long as 50%+1 of the city can settle on a different candidate, even if that candidate is not their ideal first choice, Ford is finished. The new voting system all but guarantees that the job will go to someone else.

Update: Apparently I was pre-mature, this still has to go to a committee and could be squashed altogether if an election is called. If you're in Ontario, let your MPPs know that the bill needs to be fast tracked and that it is not a good time for another election. 

Update 2: I've just been informed that the bill contains a clause that will prevent it from becoming law before January 1, 2015. It's still good news but it will not directly impact the election happening late this year in Toronto. 
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