The Benefits of Ranked Ballots

The Agenda with Steve Paikin explains the benefits of Ranked Ballots.

 

What are the benefits of Ranked Ballots?

 

Eliminates Vote Splitting

Under our current system, people spend more time talking about potential vote splitting than they do talking about the issues.  Headlines are dominated by stories about who is dropping out or who is stealing votes from another candidate.  With Ranked Ballot Voting there is no such thing as vote splitting.

Reduces Strategic Voting

Under our current system, voters are often told to vote "strategically".  With Ranked Ballot Voting, you can always vote with your heart - not your calculator.  You don't have to vote against something, you get to vote for something.  

Ensures Majority Support

Under our current system, it is possible for a candidate to win an election with only 20% of the votes.  All across Ontario, each municipal election sends Councillors to office even when most of their constituents wanted someone else to win.  Ranked Ballot Voting ensures that every successful Councillor has the majority support of the voters.

Discourages Negative Campaigning

Under our current system, candidates often attack each other, throwing insults and accusations in an effort to discredit their opponents.  This puts the focus on voting against a set of ideals rather than discussing what each candidate would do if elected.  With Ranked Ballot Voting these tactics work against you.  To win, you have to appeal to a larger audience - including your opponents' supporters in the hope that they might rank you second or third.  This means more positive debates and more respectful and meaningful discussions.

Provides More Choice for Voters

Under our current system, candidates are often forced to drop out of the race to avoid vote-splitting.  Some of this happens in a very public manner.  However, most of it happens months before the election as potential candidates are discouraged from entering the race.  This frequently happens at the local level with new, eager candidates being asked not to run by their own colleagues.  This is the exact opposite experience that we want candidates to have.  With Ranked Ballot Voting, new voices would be welcomed and encouraged.  This would lead to more choice, more voices, more engagement, and more diversity.