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Fair Vote Canada (FVC) and the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto (RaBIT) are excited to announce that they will both campaign for a ranked ballot to elect the mayor of the City of Toronto.

“Using a ranked ballot for mayor is a small and simple change that will help make our local elections more fair and friendly,” said RaBIT Coordinator Dave Meslin. “We can reduce vote-splitting and strategic voting, making the election experience more inclusive and less polarising.”

“It’s important to understand that with a different voting system, people will vote differently,” said FVC executive director Wayne Smith. “We will have different candidates and a different style of campaign, because candidates will not just be working to be some voters’ first choice, but will also be appealing more broadly for other voters’ second and third preferences.”

The two organizations continue to disagree on the best way to elect city councillors.

The RaBIT campaign calls for ranked ballots in the current, single-member wards, but is revising its campaign timeline to focus exclusively on the mayor’s position until this reform has been won.

Fair Vote Canada continues to call for an extensive public consultation on municipal voting reform with a consideration of all options, including the Single Transferable Vote, a proportional, ranked ballot voting system that does not require political parties, which would allow almost everyone in Toronto to be represented on council by somebody they actually voted for.

Leaders from both organizations agree that they do not advocate Instant Runoff Voting for provincial and federal elections.

The accord paves the way for Fair Vote Canada to set aside a perceived conflict of interest for some RaBIT volunteers, allowing them to participate fully once again as members of Fair Vote Canada.

“We have temporarily set aside our differences to focus on achieving our common goals,” said Smith. “We are excited about focusing our efforts on goals where we all agree: making the 2015 federal election about a mandate for proportional representation, and letting Toronto voters use a better ballot for the election of Mayor. This is an example of the type of consensual democracy and collaborative politics that Fair Vote Canada promotes through proportional representation, and we hope it will provide an example to politicians at all levels of government.”

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