In 2016, the Province of Ontario allowed municipalities to determine if they would change the current First Past The Post (FTPT) electoral system in favour of Ranked Ballots. Cities had to pass a by-law confirming their intent to switch over to the new system by May 1, 2017, in order to apply the new process to 2018 elections. Ottawa’s City Council has not adopted the new model, although some members of the Council are interested in better understanding citizens’ perspectives. If the current council is interested in making the change, the new legislation requires for there to be public consultations, but it’s not mandated that voters have a formal say.
Inspired by the opportunity afforded by the Province and motivated by its mandate to bring diverse people together to improve community life, Synapcity, as a local third-party convener, designed and delivered an impartial and objective Citizens’ Jury on Municipal Electoral Reform on October 28, 2018. This project was intended as an experimental exercise and would not replace any formal decision-making processes.