The Toronto Star is all aflutter about liberal leader Steven Del Duca’s promise to resign as premier if he does not immediately change Ontario voting to ranked ballots. It strikes this liberal that this is one of the dumber promises for next June’s provincial election. It is right up there with Doug Ford’s promise of a ‘buck a beer” in the last provincial election.
Ranked ballots in our democracy are a joke. The idea reminds me of when Torontonians elected two aldermen in each of the old city wards. The alderman with the most votes sat on both the city and Metro Toronto councils. And was paid more. Instead of harmony and cooperation between the two aldermen, the knives were kept out and sharpened awaiting the opportunity to do in the other alderman. And woe betide the political lackey who did not know to get every supporter to just vote once for alderman.
And it is ranked ballots that are fouling the contests for leader in the federal conservative party. You would think they would learn. Ranked ballots when there are a large number of candidates is a countdown to the least annoying of the candidates. It has very little to do with their competence.
The problem with ranked ballots are the voters, who think they have to number all the candidates. They probably know very little about some of those candidates and you have no idea how badly things will come out in the final count. You can feel a little more confident if there are only three or four candidates on a ranked ballot. The result can be similar to the present first-past-the-post voting.
But as people realize that any idiot can win in a ranked ballot situation, you could possibly see a deluge of candidates. Even worse, in a provincial election, you can end up with ten or more political parties. And that spells chaos for ranked ballots.
For some reason, liberal Steven Del Duca reminds me of a toothless turtle. He needs to come out of his shell and find out what Ontario voters want in the coming election. He should concentrate on how liberals could support voters.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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