New Voting System Might Be Coming To Mississauga

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If you've ever wanted to choose multiple political candidates by ranking them from most to slightly less favorable, you might get the chance to do that in Mississauga.

Earlier this week, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin announced a plan to allow Ontario municipalities to start using ranked ballots in 2018. With such a ballot, you can actually select multiple candidates and specify your first, second and third choices. As the Mississauga News explains, lower-ranking candidates would be eliminated until one person amasses 50 per cent of the vote.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie, for one, is welcoming the news, telling the newspaper, "I applaud the Wynne government for taking action to modernize the municipal election process and to strengthen local democracy."

According to The News, the push towards the proposed voting system came about after extensive consultation by Queen's Park on changes to the Municipal Elections Act. Last year, the province received 3,400 submissions in support of the new system.

As of now, cities use the much-discussed first-past-the-post system that other levels of government have considered quashing due to the fact that it allows candidates with little support to win elections. Eliminating the system was actually a substantial part of the federal Liberal's platform.

When the announcement was made, McMeekin told reporters that ranked balloting will shift campaign tactics, encouraging candidates to focus on selling themselves rather than attacking their opponents. He also said the ballots will increase voter turnout. The News also reports that, should this legislation pass, it could work towards regulating third-party advertising and making campaign finance rules more transparent. It could also, potentially, ban corporations and unions from propping up candidates financially.

What do you think, Mississauga? Do you think the voting system needs an overhaul?  

 

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