An e-mail on preferential voting.


Dear Minister McMeekin:

You must have missed reading Babel-on-the-Bay on March 26 this year. That was when one of the postings was devoted to Toronto council’s request to your Ontario ministry for preferential voting in that city’s municipal elections. The posting was about why this might not be a good idea.

It is obvious that under the pressures of your ministry’s work load, neither you nor your staff have had time to analyze the city’s request. Should you require further discussion of the subject, this writer would be pleased to help.

First of all, having been involved in municipal, provincial and federal elections for the past 53 years, we have some hands-on experience. And having held every position on a riding executive other than chair of the women’s committee, we have considerable political awareness. And having once run as a Liberal candidate, we have also spilled blood for the party.

But even then, it takes extensive study of voting systems and government structures around the world to truly understand their strengths and weaknesses. In response to the 2007 Ontario referendum on mixed member voting, we authored the Democracy Papers, a series of documents supporting our first-past-the-post voting system. The Democracy Papers are archived in and even eight years later are accessed daily by researchers from around the world.

The very simple answer to people supporting preferential voting is that it is a system that makes the losers the choosers. It is not the complication of the ballot that is confusing. It is the suggestion that the voter has to make more than one choice. It is like back when Toronto had two aldermen per ward. A lot of mediocre candidates got elected because of that second vote.

Toronto has to be saved from its ignorance. And we certainly do not want to spread the disease across the province.

Thank you,


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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