Other Design Features

For more information on the design features of the new system, see the background report, Democracy at Work: The Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.

Can the same candidate run in a local district and be on a party list?

Candidates can run in a local district, be on a party list, or both. If candidates seek election in both ways and win a local race, their names would be crossed off the list. Only one candidate can win in a local district, but others may have strong support from voters. Being on the list gives these candidates a chance to be elected and serve Ontarians. There will also be cases where a party wishes to nominate someone only to its list - for example, a finance expert or environmentalist - who can make an important contribution to the province.

What if parties win more local seats than their share of the party vote gives them?

Parties always keep the local seats they win, even if they win more seats than their share of the party vote gives them. This has no effect on the size of the legislature and, in almost all cases, still achieves good proportionality.

Why does a party need 3% support to win a list seat?

If a party wins at least 3% of the party vote, it will have strong enough support from voters to be entitled to have a voice in the legislature. It is not possible to predict with certainty how Ontarians will vote under the new electoral system. However, based on past voting patterns in Ontario and the experience in Mixed Member Proportional countries, the Assembly believes that this threshold will ensure that the legislature continues to function effectively.

How are seats allocated to parties?

Mixed Member Proportional systems use formulas to allocate seats to parties. The Assembly chose the simplest formula (called the "Hare formula"). It divides the total number of party votes by the total number of seats in the legislature. The result of this calculation determines the number of seats to be allocated to each party.

What happens if a list seat becomes vacant between elections?

If one of a party's list seats becomes vacant between elections for any reason, the vacancy is filled by the next available person on that party's list as submitted for the previous election. A by-election is not needed. By-elections will still be held for local seats that become vacant.