First, it’s wonderful to read this editorial in the Seaway News. Your explanation of ranked ballot system is spot on and your conversations with local politicians is illuminating. Thanks for writing it Nick!
I really think that the age of confrontation in governance is drawing to a close. The pandemic is a wake-up call to our need to have cooperation both nationally, among all levels of government and internationally, but the true test is going to be climate change. Democracy slowly evolves as it becomes more representative and cooperative and ranked ballot is a natural development. Like the vote for women, it is a positive change, but it will mean a change in the power structure of our governments.
Both the Liberals and Conservatives are aware that if the ranked ballot were used at either the provincial or federal level that this would likely mean an end to majority governments. That is probably the real reason why the Ford government has nixed the idea at the municipal level. It is also the reason why Trudeau backed off his promise to eliminate the first-past-the-post system federally. Conservatives are more sensitive to this issue because the other three parties tend to be closer in economic and social outlook.
Mr. McDonell’s statement that the government acted out of financial concern for municipalities is typical Conservative rhetoric maintaining that if a government program or policy costs more, no matter what the value, it must be bad. The PCs are aware that there is a growing desire for political reform and municipalities are leading the charge. The Ford government’s action is simply an attempt to contain the fire. Sorry Mr. McDonell but it isn’t going to work. It’s time to start looking at true cooperation, not confrontation.