Sudbury

Sudbury mayoral candidate touts ranked ballots for municipal elections

With eleven people vying to become Greater Sudbury’s mayor in the 2018 municipal election, one candidate wants the city to reconsider the first-past-the-post voting system.

Bill Crumplin says ranked ballots 'more democratic' than current first-past-the-post system

When voters go to the polls in Sudbury this October, they'll be selecting a single candidate for mayor, but one candidate for the job wants the city to reconsider ranked ballots in future elections. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

With eleven people vying to become the mayor of Greater Sudbury in the 2018 municipal election, one candidate wants the city to reconsider the first-past-the-post voting system.

This is the first year Ontario municipalities have the option to use ranked ballots, after the province passed legislation in 2016 allowing municipalities to change their voting systems.

In a ranked ballot system, voters select multiple candidates in order of preference, instead of voting for just one person.

If no candidate achieves a majority — more than 50 per cent of the vote — the person with the fewest votes is dropped from the ballot. Voters' third and second choices are then considered, and the process is repeated until there is a candidate with a majority.

Mayoral candidate Bill Crumplin says ranked ballots make sense when there is a wide field of candidates.

"As the people were adding up for the mayor's seat this time, I was thinking boy this is a prime time to talk about ranked ballots," Crumplin said. "Because it's quite possible that somebody with 20 per cent of the vote might actually become mayor."

He added that it's statistically possible a candidate could even win with as little as 10 per cent of the vote under the current system.

Sudbury mayoral candidate Bill Crumplin says he will support a ranked ballot initiative if he is elected in the 2018 Municipal race. (Supplied/Nickel Belt Green Party of Ontario Constituency Association)

London only city to try out new system

Most cities across the province, including Sudbury, opted against using ranked ballots for the upcoming municipal election.

According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, London is the only municipality that has stated it will use the new system this year.

Crumplin wants Sudbury to reconsider ranked ballots in the future, and says he would like to see public consultations after the election in October.

"Ranked balloting gives us a chance to have people's second choices, you know, to count into things," he said.

"I think it's a far more democratic way of selecting a victor when there are probably more than four or five candidates."

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