“Our electoral system shouldn’t be the Kentucky Derby, where the Mayor can win by a nose. To make our city better, we need leadership and ideas supported by the widest possible mandate.” - Robert-Falcon Ouellette
May 12, 2022 - OUELLETTE PROPOSES RANKED BALLOTS FOR FUTURE MAYORAL ELECTIONS
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Metis, Winnipeg, MB & home to all who live together.
For Immediate Release - Mayoral Candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette made his first policy announcement today, saying that if elected Mayor he would introduce a “ranked ballot” system for future Mayoral elections.
“We begin the campaign for Winnipeg’s next Mayor with a crowded field of candidates, who are sure to bring a wide range of ideas to the table. Under our current, first-past-the post system, Winnipeggers can find themselves voting against a candidate they don’t want, rather than for a candidate they do want." said Ouellette. “Ranked ballots would allow people to vote their conscience and their hearts, and no one can tell them their vote doesn’t count.”
With a ranked ballot voters number their choice for candidates, first, second, third and so on. If no candidate has over 50% of the votes, the candidate with the least number of votes has their votes redistributed based on the second choice on those ballots. This process is repeated until one candidate gets over 50% of the votes.
Ouellette said a ranked ballot offered several benefits over the current first-past-the-post system.
Winnipeggers can vote their conscience without having to “vote strategically” or worry about splitting the vote.
Because candidates must win a majority, campaigns may be less negative as candidates want their opponents’ supporters to have them as a second choice.
It encourages higher voter turnout, since people will know their vote will still count, even if their first choice doesn’t win.
Ouellette said that democratic reform is important in part because turnout in elections is so low. In the 2018 Municipal Election voter turnout was 42.33%.
“Our electoral system shouldn’t be the Kentucky Derby, where the Mayor can win by a nose. To make our city better, we need leadership and ideas supported by the widest possible mandate.” said Ouellette. “If we want City Hall to be focused on the public interest and the city as a whole, a ranked ballot is one way to ensure that the Mayor and Council truly have the support of a majority of voters.”