Electing Our Representatives
Guiding Principle: Simplicity and Practicality
Giving voters two votes on a single ballot is a simple and practical way to increase voter choice and achieve fairer election results, without changing the way local members are elected.
Guiding Principle: Accountability
At election time, voters can hold their local representatives accountable and hold parties accountable by directly determining the share of seats each party wins. .
Local members are elected in the new system in the same way they are elected under the current system. Local candidates are nominated by parties or run as independents. The votes are counted in each electoral district and the candidate with the most votes is elected. The winner needs more votes than other candidates, but does not need to receive a majority (50% +1) of the votes. The winning candidate represents your district in the legislature.
List members are elected through the party vote on the ballot. Each party nominates a province-wide list of candidates, in the order it wants them to be elected. Candidates at the top of the list have a better chance of being elected than candidates farther down the list. This helps voters decide which party to vote for because they know which candidates will be elected if a party wins list seats.
Transparent process for lists
Before the election, parties will be required to submit their lists, as well as the details of the process they used to nominate their list candidates, to Elections Ontario – a non-partisan body. Elections Ontario will publish this information widely. Voters will be able to assess whether parties created their lists in a fair and transparent way. Voters will also be able to see whether a party’s list has a good balance of men and women, includes candidates from all of Ontario’s regions, and reflects the diversity of Ontario’s population. In order to attract support from voters across the province, parties have an incentive to ensure that their lists are representative of the people of Ontario.
Clear provincial support
In the Mixed Member Proportional system, a party must have clear support – at least 3% of the party vote across the province – for candidates from its list to be elected to the legislature. For example, in the last Ontario election, approximately 4.5 million people voted. To meet the 3% threshold of support, a party would have needed about 135,000 votes.
The 3% threshold of support strikes a balance between having more parties represented in the legislature and preventing parties with very little public support from winning seats. The threshold for electing list members ensures that all parties allocated list seats will have strong enough support from voters. Any party can win a local seat if its candidate attracts more votes than any other candidate in a local district.