Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

Scrapping ranked ballots was a complete surprise to local municipalities

Published on October 23, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPPs Peggy Sattler (London West), the NDP’s critic for Democratic Reform, and Ian Arthur (Kingston and the Islands), say Doug Ford is overriding local democracy by scrapping ranked ballots without consulting voters or their local municipalities.

“Once again Doug Ford is shamelessly using the pandemic to push through legislation driven by his own agenda, that will do absolutely nothing to help Ontario recover, and tramples all over municipal democracy,” said Sattler.

Sattler told the Ontario legislature Thursday that the government’s meddling in municipal affairs by scrapping ranked ballots came as a complete surprise to Ontario municipalities, especially London, which is already using this voting system.

“London’s leadership ran a successful ranked ballot election in 2018 and has been recognized across Canada. But the premier’s interference means that not is Ford wasting London’s one-time expenses of creating this system and teaching voters to use it, but the city will face new costs to revert back to first past the post,” said Sattler.

“How exactly does overriding local democracy and forcing London to abandon ranked ballots save municipalities money?”

Arthur said the news also came as a complete surprise to the mayor of Kingston, whose residents held a referendum in 2018 and elected to switch to a ranked ballot system.

“Kingston residents went out and voted, and chose a ranked ballot system for our next municipal elections,” said Arthur. “How dare Doug Ford just overrule that democratic referendum, because he wants to meddle in municipal business again?”

Arthur pointed out that the PC Party Ford leads uses the ranked ballot system itself for its internal elections.