In support of ranked ballots and term limits

They say that politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.

The only group of people who don’t agree with this sentiment are politicians themselves – they are just fine with the status quo.

At the last meeting of city council, my colleagues chose not to explore ways to make our democratic system more accountable and transparent.

I was shocked to see that Toronto City Council recommended against using ranked ballots for municipal elections. Several councillors who had previously supported ranked ballot voting changed their position and opposed this important democratic tool.

Ranked ballots give voters more choice when deciding whom to support for councillor or mayor. They are used in public elections around the world and here in Canada – every major political party uses ranked ballots to choose their leader.

Despite their widespread use and obvious benefits, many of my colleagues on council think that the public is simply not smart enough to understand how to use a ranked ballot. I disagree.

Another initiative to ensure that political power does not become entrenched in the hands of a few is term limits. This month at council I introduced a motion asking the province to investigate term limits for city councillors and the mayor. Despite wide public support and precedents around the world and here in Canada, my motion for term limits was soundly defeated by councillors who, not surprisingly, aren’t interested in limiting their tenure.

Self-preservation is a natural instinct and politicians who were elected using one set of rules don’t have a lot of desire to change them.

But if we want effective representation and a city government that makes wise decisions, we have to be able to adapt.

If you want to support ranked ballots and let the councillors who changed their votes know you are unhappy, contact the Ranked Ballot Initiative at 123toronto.ca.


Did you enjoy this article? If so, you may consider becoming a Voluntary Subscriber to the Beach Metro Community News and help us continue providing the community with more local content such as this. For over 40 years, our staff have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who’s making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support Beach Metro News.

Click here for our commenting guidelines.

Leave a Reply

*