Making Every Vote Count: Electoral Reform in Ontario

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2014

(Guelph): Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario and candidate in Guelph, called for broader electoral reform in the wake of the Liberal pledge to bring ranked balloting to all municipal elections.

“I strongly support electoral reform for municipal elections and will cooperate with other parties seeking such reforms. But shouldn’t we have fair elections at the provincial level too?” asked Schreiner. “It’s time to reconsider proportional representation for our legislature.”

First-past-the-post elections are typically characterized by strategies that secure a few key votes in a few key ridings.

These strategies include promises to locate large projects in close ridings (or move them away if they are offending gas plants), gimmicks that offer cash to voters, and influence-peddling by organizations representing special interests.

Electoral reform will eliminate the need for strategic voting, reduce negative campaigning, and ensure every vote counts.

All voters are hurt by our current outdated first-past-the-post system. Liberal voters in ridings held by Conservatives for decades feel their vote doesn’t count. Likewise Conservative voters in long held Liberals feel the same. Voters who support newer parties often have no voice in the legislature.

In Toronto, politicians of all stripes, business owners, social justice leaders, journalists, and artists have joined together in their support for Bill 166, the ranked ballot initiative for Toronto, which was abandoned when the NDP forced the June 12 election.

“If we want to restore faith and bolster participation in politics, we need to fix the broken electoral system,” said Dave Meslin, a leader in the movement to revitalize our democracy. “We elect MPPs to work together in our interest, not offer quick fixes and cynical gambits. Ranked ballots are a good start, but we have a ways to go.”

Mike Schreiner and the Green Party are committed to bringing honesty, integrity, and good public policy to Queen’s Park.

Media contact: Candice Lepage