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Ontario needs proportional representation!

 

In June 2022, Ontario’s first-past-the-post voting system gave a single party with 41% of the vote 100% of the power.

Voter turnout was 43.5%, meaning a “majority” government was elected by less than 18% of eligible voters.

False majorities are not a new problem. In fact, the last time a “majority” government in Ontario was elected by a majority of voters was in 1937. In almost every election in Ontario, most votes just don’t count and the majority of voters elect no-one.

We need a transformation that gives citizens a stronger voice on the policies that affect our lives.

It’s time for proportional representation in Ontario.

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Ontario election 2022

In the 2022 Ontario election, Doug Ford’s Conservatives got 41.8% of the popular vote. That gave them 67% of the seats and 100% of the power. Read our election night analysis of how first-past-the-post failed voters.

An Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform is the next step to a democracy where the voices and votes of Ontario citizens really matter.

Politicians are in an unavoidable conflict of interest when it comes to reforming the electoral system―so they need to get out of the way and let citizens lead!

A majority of Ontarians surveyed in November 2021 would support an Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, with very few opposed.

Ontario election 2022 graphics

Policy lurch in Ontario

Drastic policy lurch as one government is replaced by its opposite—and the uncertainty and instability it creates—is endemic to winner-take-all voting.

Read more about policy lurch here, and see some Ontario examples below.

POLL ON ELECTORAL REFORM IN ONTARIO

A November 2021 polling by Leger commissioned by Fair Vote Canada shows a majority reject one-party decision-making on electoral reform, support a Citizens’ Assembly and the principle of proportional representation. See highlights of the poll below and the full poll here.

Ontario press releases and blogs

Notwithstanding clause… again? First-past-the-post makes it easy for leaders to abuse their power

Doug Ford threatened to invoke the notwithstanding clause again. Our most basic rights in future may well be determined by what a party leader can get away with. When one party holds all the power with 41% of the vote, who is going to stop them?

When it comes to the Emergencies Act Inquiry, Doug Ford runs for cover.

All the power is concentrated in the hands of the leader and his unelected spin doctors. Their main job seems to be to protect the Premier and advance the governing party’s self-interest.

Doug Ford’s move to concentrate power with “strong mayor” system is a step backward for local democracy

Provincial and federal politics suffers from an overwhelming and stifling concentration of power in the leader’s office. With decisions cooked up by a few unelected party hacks around the Premier or the Prime Minister, there’s nothing for most MPs or MPPs to do but sell (or oppose) decisions they had no say in making. If Doug Ford gets his way, this curse of federal and provincial politics could be coming to city councils across Ontario.

The Ontario Greens get it right on electoral reform with a process voters can trust and a commitment to action.

Democratic reform

Create a diverse, randomly selected Citizens Assembly on electoral reform with a mandate to provide binding recommendations on modernising Ontario’s electoral system to ensure that every vote counts and the legislature reflects the democratic will of the people. 

Liberals put self-interest ahead of Ontarians with ranked ballot pledge 

The Ontario Liberal Party’s pledge to ram through winner-take-all ranked ballots* should be slammed by all Ontarians as a self-interested power grab―because that’s exactly what it is. Replacing first-past-the-post with another winner-take-all system is a phony reform that solves almost nothing, and could create more problems.

Ontario Liberal Leader Stephen Del Duca’s promise to force through winner-take-all ranked ballots should be slammed by all Ontario voters who care about democracy. 

 

 

Policy lurch in Ontario is money down the drain. 

Looks like we can soon chalk up another $30 million to the bill for first-past-the-post.This week’s report by the the Narwhal highlighted the latest round of lawsuits facing the Ford government over its abrupt, ideologically-driven cancellation of Ontario’s cap and trade program.

Drastic policy lurch as one government is replaced by its opposite—and the uncertainty and instability it creates—
is endemic to winner-take-all voting.

 

 

Read more press releases and blogs

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