What is the ranking ballot system?


Several balloting systems have been proposed to replace our current system, the ranking ballot system being one; it was put forward by the Liberals during the last election. In fact, it is not an electoral system as such, but rather one feature that can be a part of one of the existing systems.


Under this system, a candidate must be elected with an absolute majority (50%+1). For this to occur, the voter uses a ballot on which he indicates his   preferences in order (1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc.). If no candidate obtains 50%+1 when the ballots are counted, the second, third, and fourth choices of the electors will be counted, until a candidate obtains the passing grade.


In the context of the electoral system in Canada, the ranking ballot system would be even worse than the status quo. As Ed Broadbent pointed out, ranking ballot would be the equivalent of our first past‑the‑post‑ system “on steroids”. This system would lead to even more frequent false majorities and would make Parliament even less representative than it currently is. In short, it is a facile solution that would not solve the distortions caused by our current electoral system in any way!

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