Skip to main content

Voters arrive at a Toronto polling station to cast their ballot in the federal election on May 02, 2011.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Toronto city council has voted in favour of electoral reform and will ask the province to amend legislation so it can use ranked choice balloting in municipal elections and allow permanent residents to vote.

Council debated the issue for several hours Tuesday before voting in favour of the changes.

Councillors also voted to form a working group to implement Internet voting for people with disabilities in time for the 2014 municipal election, and to monitor developments in Internet voting to determine if it should be adopted city-wide in 2018.

Story continues below advertisement

Toronto elections currently operate under the first-past-the-post system, just as is done in every other jurisdiction in Canada. Simply put, whoever gets the most votes wins.

Under ranked choice balloting a candidate would have to earn a majority of the vote. If none of the candidates had more than 50 per cent after the first count, a series of run-off elections would be held.

Dave Meslin, a civic activist with the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, said he was "thrilled" with Tuesday's result.

"We're really excited to see the city of Toronto taking a step forward toward fair and friendly elections," he said.

Desmond Cole, the former project co-ordinator of I Vote Toronto, a campaign to extend the vote to permanent residents, said he was "relieved."

"The fear that I think a lot of councillors expressed on the floor today stems from the fact that we have problems with status in this country. We have tiers of status and we have to fix that," he said.

Mayor Rob Ford was among those to oppose the reforms and he said after that he thinks council wasted its time because the province won't act on the requests.

Story continues below advertisement

Both Mr. Meslin and Mr. Cole said they expect the province to acknowledge council's wish. Councillor Joe Mihevc agreed.

"This particular premier has always said she will listen to the voice of the city as expressed in council. Council has expressed its will and I think, frankly, it would be appropriate for her to listen to that advice," Mr. Mihevc said.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter