Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Toronto - what I would do

First, I want to share a new map I've made of Toronto's 25 ridings, filled with my "prediction" of the election, with all the caveats that predicting councillor elections is both nearly impossible, and, aligning council candidates with mayoral candidates is, at times, even less possible.

So, what would I do with everything Ford has done. Lets presume his changes pass the Legislature; and, suddenly, I somehow find myself Premier, and, control a majority of the Legislature. What would I do?

The answer is both simple, and something I've felt Toronto has needed for a long time. I've even proposed it back when then councillor Rob Ford wanted to cut the number of councillors in Toronto.

For starters, I would make no changes to the council election. Toronto would have 25 wards, which would each elect a single councillor. I would change the Mayoral election.

Before I begin, keep in mind that Ford extended the deadline to September, and I would apply this to the Mayoral race, so that there is plenty of time for people to enter the race for Mayor.

For the winner, there'd be no changes. If you win the Mayoral election, you become Mayor. The process, however, would be radically different.

First off, instead of marking an X for who you want to see as Mayor, and the first person past the post becoming Mayor, you would now rank the candidates.

There would then be not one, but two counts for Mayor.

The first would be a simple preferential ballot with a single winner, the person who takes 50%+1 of all votes after, if needed, multiple rounds of counting.

Following this, a second count would begin for Toronto's 7 at-large councillors. The Mayor has already won, and as such, the first step is to re-distribute his ballots. Then you would elect the 7 at-large councillors using STV, similar to how Australia elects its Senators.

The largest downside to this is that while the Ward elections and even the Mayoral election could and would likely be finished on election night; calculating the At-Large results would likely take an additional day of counting.

There are, however, significant upsides. First, you go from 25 to 32 councillors. This whole idea of just adding 7 extra councillors is something that could be applied elsewhere if Ford wanted to apply his "wards = ridings" idea to other municipalities. Penetanguishene, where I live, which makes up a tiny proportion of the Simcoe North riding, already complies with this, as we only have 7 regular, and at-large, councillors, added to a separately elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

In fact, increasing this from 7 to 10 is not unreasonable. Doing so, and applying "Ford's Formula" would mean London goes from 14 to 13 councillors, Ottawa from 23 to 17, Hamilton would be unchanged at 15, and Mississauga would increase from 13 to 16.

Regardless, this is a tangent.

The main thrust of this two fold, first, is to increase the quality of candidates for Mayor, and, secondly, to better align Toronto's council with Toronto's electorate. I've shown the map and how divided things can be. It's quite likely that the 7 folks elected would help bolster the "winner" of the election in terms of ideology, be it left or right.

You may wonder "would this not elect folks like Faith Goldy, James Sears, and Kevin Clarke?" The answer is a solid "No!". Sears and Clarke in particular have run for office before and are not popular enough to win, unless something radically changes.

What would happen, especially in the context of this election, is people who now are facing re-election against another incumbent, would likely run for "mayor" with the intent of getting in on the at-large list.

Folks like Michael Thompson, Norm Kelly, Stephen Holyday, and Michael Ford, would likely run for "mayor", and, win as At-Large councillors, leaving the ward to be won by Glenn de Baeremaeker, Jim Karygiannis, John Campbell, and Vince Crisanti respectively. This could also be a "way out" for councillors on opposite ends of the spectrum - IE those unlikely to make a "deal" that one run at large and one for the ward. Anthony Perruzza is headed for a showdown vs Giorgio Mammoliti, and both of them would have to beat off not insignificant newcomers in the same ward. Both could simply decide to run at-large. Add to these 6 names Jennifer Keesmaat, or, John Tory, whomever does not win the Mayoral election, and you have your 7 at-large councillors.

edited to add: a bonus map I made for a meme, which actually, does an excellent job of showing the new vs old wards

1 comment:

  1. to clarify the 7 names I am saying could win these seats:

    at large: Michael Thompson, Norm Kelly, Stephen Holyday, Michael Ford, Anthony Perruzza, Giorgio Mammoliti, Jennifer Keesmaat

    mayor: John Tory