Should Toronto stop using first-past-the-post elections?

Toronto Municipal Election 2014

In June of 2013, Toronto City Council voted 26 to 15 to request permission from the provincial government to change from the current first-past-the-post election system to a ranked choice voting system.1

The ranked choice voting system would allow transferrable votes.  If the candidate you marked as your first choice on the ballet didn't get many votes, then your vote is transferred to your second choice, and so on.  This will continue until a candidate has at least 50% of the vote.


Question Introduction (give some background on the topic)


Toronto should keep the first-past-the-post system for elections.

Toronto should change to ranked choice voting for elections.

Elections History

Changing the system wouldn't necessarily have affected the outcome of the previous elections.  Mayor Ford had 47% of the vote while his nearest competitor George Smithersan had only 36% of the vote2.  If the remaining 17% of the vote had been redistributed, it is unlikely to have made a difference.

Elections History

20 council members during the last election did not win with 50% of the vote.  Even the Mayor did not have 50% of the vote, which is not unlikley when there are approximately 40 candidates to choose from in any given election.

Stratigic Voting

Candidates who will not get many votes are often identified by polling early in the election process.  It is then up to individuals to vote for the popular candiate that they would prefer.  This system will often have the same result as ranked ballets effectively making changes to the system unnecessary.

Stratigic Voting

Changing to ranked ballets will allow people to not vote strategically.  They will be able to vote for the candidates who best represent their views without fear of a candidate they don't like winning in their place.


Other Factors for Discussion

There are other polling systems which could be used.


Toronto Elections Voting System

What system should Toronto use during elections?



Toronto should change to the Ranked Choice Voting system


Toronto should keep the First-Past-The-Post system


1 Votes left

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1.     National Post

2.     Toronto election results:


    I'd like to see a system in which every nearly Torontonian could cast a positive ballot and elect a representative they actually wanted. Any system which denies representation of choice to 50 per cent of voters, as in the Ranked Ballot proposal, or even more than 50 per cent as in FPTP, is not a system of democratic representation on council, should not be presented as such, and does not merit the respect or loyalty of the governed. Nor do the governments which impose such a deeply undemocratic system of public choice.

    The Toronto problem could be rectified easily enough if the demand for a ranked ballot were combined with advocacy of multi-member electoral districts -- but where is the Toronto Councillor or mayoral candidate willing to advocate democratic representative city government?

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