Why is Ranked Choice Voting better?
Ensures majority support
Ranked Choice Voting ensures that winning candidates are supported by a majority of constituents in their wards. Under our current system, a candidate can ‘win’ an election with only 25% support. In 2010, eight city councillors were elected to office, even though a majority of their constituents did not vote for them. With Ranked Choice Voting, candidates must have support from at least 50% of their constituents.
Provides more choice for voters
Ranked Choice Voting provides more choice for voters. Under our current system, candidates are often dissuaded from entering or staying in the race to avoid vote-splitting, narrowing the pool of candidates and ideas. This often discourages members of underrepresented groups, such as women, visible minorities, and youth, from becoming candidates. With Ranked Choice Voting, candidates who represent the diversity of constituents are welcomed and encouraged, resulting in a greater wealth of ideas being debated during municipal elections.
Reduces strategic voting
Ranked Choice Voting reduces the incentive for strategic voting. Under our current system, voters are often told to vote “strategically” to prevent another candidate from winning. With ranked choice voting, you can always vote for who you want – you never have to vote against someone, you always vote for the person you want to win.
Ends vote splitting
Ranked Choice Voting ends vote splitting. Under our current system, some people spend more time talking about vote splitting than they do talking about the issues. Headlines are often dominated by stories about who is dropping out and who is stealing votes from whom. With Ranked Choice Voting, there is no such thing as vote splitting. If your preferred candidate is eliminated from the race, then your vote automatically goes to your next preferred candidate.
Discourages negative campaigning
Ranked Choice Voting discourages negative campaigning. Under our current system, candidates often spend more time discrediting their opponents than defining their own policy platforms. With ranked choice voting, negative campaigning becomes bad politics. To win an instant runoff, candidates must also appeal to their opponents’ supporters in order to be their second or third choice on the ballot. This means friendlier debates, and a more respectful discussion on the future of Ottawa.