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Democracy in Ontario needs an overhaul!

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In June 2018, Ontario’s voting system gave a single party with 40.5% of the vote 100% of the power.

This isn’t a new problem. In fact, the last time a “majority” government in Ontario was elected by a majority of voters was in 1937.

Skewed results and voters shut out are the norm. In almost every election in Ontario, most votes just don’t count. The majority of voters elect no-one.

Winner-take-all voting has negative effects on democratic participation, the tone of our politics, policy development and governance. We need a transformation that gives citizens a stronger voice on the policies that affect our lives.

It’s time for proportional representation.

To stay up-to-date with the campaign, make sure you have signed the Declaration of Voters’ Rights! 

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We need a Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform! Click the picture below to learn more:

Election 2022: Party Platforms

 Ontario Liberal Party platform

In October 2021 Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca pledged to force through winner-take-all ranked ballots – or he’ll resign.

Their platform repeats the promise to bring in winner-take-all ranked ballots, without the agreement of any other party, evidence or meaningful citizen consultation. 

Winner-take-all ranked ballots can deliver results that are less proportional than first-past-the-post, are in the self-interest of the Liberal Party, and can push us closer to a two-party system. Winner-take-all ranked ballots are not a step towards proportional representation. In fact, by squeezing out third parties and smaller parties, they can make it even harder to ever achieve PR.

Learn more about winner-take-all ranked ballots here.

As a 2021 Leger poll shows, voters do not not want one party to unilaterally decide our electoral system. We need a process we can trust. Fair Vote Canada calls on the Ontario Liberal Party to support an independent, non-partisan Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.


Ontario NDP platform

The Ontario NDP’s 2022 election platform commits to having an independent group of citizens create a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) System. This is a promising development. MMP is a proportional system supported by Fair Vote Canada.

Fair Vote Canada strongly believes that to achieve proportional representation, building multi-party support and public trust is essential. We encourage the Ontario NDP to support an independent, non-partisan Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform.

The Ontario NDP’s platform is copied below:

 

ELECTORAL REFORM

Ontarians deserve a voter system that’s democratic, fair, and engaging.

The Del Duca Liberals have promised to ram through a version of reform which is in their self-interest, and which 90 per cent of those who took part in their consultation were not in favour of.

Ontario New Democrats are committed to a fresh approach that’s centred on the unique needs of Ontarians, not about furthering politicians’ power.

COMMITMENT

We’ll create a Mixed Member Proportional Voting system: Designed by an independent group of citizens, this revitalized system will be a uniquely made-in-Ontario solution to ensure that every voter’s voice is heard in the legislature, all MPPs and major political parties have a meaningful voice, regardless of which party holds power. The group will be supported by a panel of experts and all of Ontario’s major parties.

 


Ontario Green Party platform

The Ontario Green Party platform gives voters a process they can trust and a commitment to implement a new voting system. The platform states:

Democratic reform

Just over half of eligible voters in Ontario actually turn out to the polls– a sign of the deep cynicism that people have about politics. Governments have given them so many reasons to be distrustful, from gas plant scandals to the influence of big donors. Many Ontarians have lost faith in our political system and simply given up on going to the polls on election day. Many believe that under the present system, their vote doesn’t even count.

That’s why Ontario Greens prefer proportional representation voting systems that are truly representative of the electorate.

Commitment

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. 

Notably, the Greens do not prescribe a particular system, but trust an independent, representative Citizens’ Assembly to look at the evidence and design a system that puts voters first.

Citizens’ Assemblies are recommended by the OECD for complex issues whose importance extends beyond the short-term interests of electoral cycles. 

The platform would be improved with a timeline for legislation to deliver the new system.

Poll shows strong opposition to one-party decision-making on electoral reform for Ontario and majority support for a Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform

 

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

 

This includes 75% of Ontario Liberal Party voters, 72% of NDP voters, 78% of PC voters and 87% of Green voters who oppose one-party decision-making on electoral reform.

This includes support for a Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform from 60% of Ontario Liberal Party voters, 70% of NDP voters, 61% of PC voters and 71% of Green voters.

Support for proportional representation included 79% of Ontario Liberal voters, 86% of NDP, 77% of PC voters and 72% of Green Party voters.

Say no to an Ontario Liberal power graba

Ontario Liberal leader Steven Del Duca has made a reckless pledge to force winner-take-all ranked ballots on Ontario. This is a system that can be less proportional than first-past-the-post, will funnel more seats to the Liberal Party without any more support, and risks pushing us towards a two-party system. Read more about what’s wrong with Alternative Vote (non-proportional ranked ballots) here

 

Shareable graphics

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Find below a few graphics with numbers specifically related to Ontario provincially.

There are many, many more graphics about the problems with winner-take-all voting and the benefits of proportional representation that would broadly apply to any level of government on the Fair Vote Canada facebook page under photos!

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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 here, and see some recent examples below.

Authorized by Fair Vote Canada, a registered third party advertiser with Elections Ontario for the Ontario provincial election.

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