The Ontario election has prompted some residents in the province to raise concerns about the first-past-the-post electoral system after premier-designate Doug Ford led his party to a majority mandate despite receiving approximately 40 per cent of the popular vote.
The first-past-the-post system includes a process that allows voters to select a party representative in each riding. The individual with the highest number of votes in each riding wins a seat in the legislature, even if they do not receive the majority of votes.
Once all the winners are tallied, the party that receives the most seats gets to hold power in government. This system is used both federally and provincially in Ontario.
One of the biggest complaints with the first-past-the-post system is that a candidate does not need over 50 per cent approval to win a riding. Here’s a look at what some people had to say about the system on Ontario’s election day:
— andyJH (@ajhtweeting) June 8, 2018
First past the post is a ridiculous, undemocratic electoral system when more than two parties are competing. Forty per cent of the vote should not yield 60 per cent of the seats. https://t.co/E5fjavai1y
— Garin Burbank (@GarinBurbank) June 8, 2018
See @JustinTrudeau we need electoral reform. The majority of the province didn't want Ford, but we're stuck with him. What happened to that electoral reform promise? What happened to getting rid of the first past the post system? #onpoli https://t.co/roqann9KYU
— Jennifer N. Tremblay (@JNT_Photography) June 8, 2018
If you’re as disappointed in the ON election results as I am today, please consider alternatives to the first past the post electoral system and write to your representatives about electoral reform. In no way should a minority of votes equal a majority government. #Onpoli
— em (@emldias) June 8, 2018
Hey @JustinTrudeau since you’re such a big fan of first-past-the-post (and broke your promise to end this flawed voting system), you’re probably thrilled that the PCs won while >60% of Ontarians voted AGAINST them – and now you have to work with Doug Ford! #onpoli #OntarioVotes
— Christopher (@C_J_1976) June 8, 2018
do you not think that the disaster tht is the #onelxn provides excellent platform to discuss the advantages of #ElectoralReform ? @ElizabethMay @nathancullen @jjhorgan @theJagmeetSingh #bcpoli #onpoli #cdnpoli
— dawn (@me_my_and_i) June 7, 2018
The terms and conditions have been updated to include an electoral system that doesn't give majorities to people with nowhere near the majority of votes#onpoli #bcpoli #pr4bc #teampr #electoralreform #fairvote
— Rhi Myfanwy Kirkland (@therhiannok) June 7, 2018
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau abandoned his electoral reform promise from his 2015 campaign, which would eliminate the first-past-the-post system. He recently told CBC News he would look into it again if other federal party leaders agreed to an alternate system.
Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has said if he’s becomes prime minister, his party will get rid of the first-past-the-post system. Singh says he is a fan of the mixed-member proportional system, which allows voters to select a party they support and a second vote for a candidate in their riding. With this system, there is usually a level of support that has to be achieved in order to get a seat.