Executive Committee Votes Against Ranked Ballot Panel
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Executive Committee Votes Against Ranked Ballot Panel

They didn't want an independent panel to review the idea, which council originally endorsed three years ago.

Photo by Neville Park.

Photo by Neville Park.

In the latest blow to local electoral reform, City Hall’s Executive Committee voted down a proposal to convene an independent panel on ranked ballots, with possible implementation for 2022.

The panel, supported by ranked ballot advocate Dave Meslin, was voted down 3–6 yesterday evening. Mayor John Tory, who came out in support of ranked ballots in early 2015, and voted for them later that year, was absent from the vote. The issue will come up again at Council on December 13.

It’s the latest in a year of setbacks for ranked ballots, which once seemed to have significant momentum at City Hall. That changed when first-term councillor Justin Di Ciano (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) introduced a surprise motion at council in October 2015, arguing there wasn’t enough consultation on the electoral changes, and that it was too complicated.

Council supported Di Ciano’s motion against ranked ballots, a reversal from its June 2013 vote in support of the initiative; seven councillors reversed their vote from two years earlier.

The push for ranked ballots has been part of a grassroots effort since 2009. Despite tireless campaigning and advocacy, it appears as though the effort has fallen back a few steps, in large part due to the entrenched status quo that enjoys its incumbency.

That’s a shame, because the disappointing way this process has unfolded only bolsters the argument that changes are needed in the electoral status quo.