Voting options: The 5 choices in the electoral reform plebiscite
Unsure of what the five options actually entail? Here's a run down of what electoral reform could look like
Between Oct. 29 and Nov. 7, Islanders will be asked to vote on electoral reform in a provincial plebiscite. CBC put together explanations along with arguments for and against each of the five systems presented on the ballot.
First past the post
The first past the post system is what is currently used on P.E.I. Voters in each district mark a single "X" beside the name of the local candidate they're supporting.
The candidate with the plurality — that is, the one with more votes than any other candidate — wins. They don't need the support of the majority of voters.
- READ MORE | First past the post
First past the post plus leaders
First past the post plus leaders works similarly to first past the post, except party leaders would not be required to run in a district.
Instead, an additional seat would be created in the legislature for the leader of each party that obtained at least ten per cent of the overall popular vote.
- READ MORE | First past the post plus leaders
Mixed member proportional
Mixed member proportional is a hybrid system that combines proportional representation with the system P.E.I. is already familiar with — first past the post.
Under P.E.I.'s proposed MMP model, the number of districts on the Island would be reduced from 27 to 18. MLAs in those 18 districts would be elected the same way they are now – the candidate with the most votes wins.
Under the P.E.I. MMP model there would also be nine list seats for MLAs, to bring the total back up to 27. Those nine seats would be assigned to parties in an attempt to match the makeup of seats in the House with the proportion of votes each party received in the election.
- READ MORE | Mixed member proportional
Dual member proportional
Under DMP, P.E.I. would be split into 14 electoral districts, each to be represented by two MLAs, increasing the size of the legislature from 27 to 28.
Parties would put forward either one or a team of two candidates (primary and secondary) in each district.
Electors would mark just one "X" on their ballot, as they do now, for their preferred party's candidate to represent their district. Where parties run two candidates, electors would vote for them both together.
One seat in each district is awarded to the primary candidate of the party that receives the most votes in the district (just like first past the post). The second seat in each district is awarded on a proportional basis, based on the overall popular vote. Elections PEI says this would usually be the candidate with the second-highest vote total in the district.
Elections PEI also says under this system, most districts would be represented by MLAs from two different parties.
- READ MORE | Dual member proportional
Instead of marking an "X" on their ballot, voters rank the candidates in order of preference.
Votes are first awarded to the candidate each voter selected as their first choice.
If no candidate receives a majority of first-place votes, then the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated. Ballots for that candidate are redistributed to whoever those voters selected as their second choice.
This process continues until one candidate has 50 per cent plus one of the votes.
- READ MORE | Preferential ballot
Want to know more?
CBC P.E.I. will present passionate arguments for each of the five options on the ballot at a public forum on Oct. 27.
Everyone is welcome to attend, and the event will also be streamed live on our Facebook page, where viewers from around the province will be able to weigh in.
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