Mixed Member Proportional

MMP in a Nutshell

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Voters would elect two types of MLAs: one local one as they do now, plus a team of regional ones to make the overall results proportional in each region. 60% of MLAs would be local, the other 40% regional. MMP was invented for use in Germany, and is also used now in New Zealand and in the Scottish and Welsh assemblies.

Mixed Member Proportional representation was recommended by the Law Commission of Canada (2004) and several provincial commissions. Variations of MMP are used in New Zealand, Germany, Scotland and Wales.

Under Mixed Member, we would continue to use our familiar winner-take-all method to elect most MLAs, but these local MLAs would be augmented by a set of regional representatives. Citizens would have a greater selection of MLAs to approach with concerns, since MLAs from several different parties would be representing them. Proportionality would be ensured on a regional scale. Although all of the systems on the ballot are variations of systems currently in use in other places, Mixed Member is the one with the most established track record of the three systems on the ballot.

Read the MMP part of our submission to the federal Electoral Reform Committee.

How it Works

Voters elect a team of one local and several regional MLAs. About 60% of the MLAs will be local riding MLAs elected by winner-take-all as we do today. About 40% of the MLAs will be elected as regional MLAs.

A common way to achieve this is to allow voters to cast one vote for a local candidate and another vote for a regional candidate. Using this approach, voters would have the option of choosing candidates from different parties on the local and regional sections of the ballot.

If a party’s share of the vote entitles it to one or more regional seats, the seats will go to the party’s regional candidates who got the most votes across the region.

With MMP, local ridings become about 67% bigger to accommodate the regional seats without requiring any more MLAs.

There are excellent videos on MMP on our youtube channel in the systems playlist. To get the basic idea of how the ballots are counted, we recommend this video: