MMP for Ontario

The Referendum

On October 10th Ontarians have a once in a life time opportunity to change politics in this province for the better. We can do this by voting to replace our current outdated FPTP system which wastes so many votes with a new one, MMP, that doesn't.

Who Designed it?

This new system was designed by the Ontario Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform. This was a group of 103 ordinary Ontarians selected randomly from across the province who were given the responsibility to learn how our current electoral system works and how electoral systems work around the world and based on this recommend changes so our system can be improved.

The Assembly spent 8 months studying this issue and fulfilled their responsibility by designing a made in Ontario electoral system for Ontarians.

What is it?

MMP stands for Mixed Member Proportional and the Ontario version is similar to systems that are being used in places like Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. In fact New Zealand moved to their MMP system from FPTP in 1996, Wales moved to it in 1998, and Scotland moved to it in 1999. None of these places after experiencing both MMP and FPTP are moving back to FPTP.

How does it work?

MMP works by giving voters one ballot and two votes, the candidate vote and the party vote. The candidate vote works exactly like the one vote we currently have in FPTP. The candidate that gets more candidate votes than other candidates in a riding wins the local seat. The other vote, the party vote, determines how much support a party has across the province and how many seats it should get. If a party doesn't win enough local seats to make up the number of seats it should get then the it gets list seats to make up the difference.

In this way MMP combines the best parts of our current system with all the benefits of a proportional system.

How is it better than what we currently have?

The Ontario Citizens' Assembly designed their system for the voters of Ontario and we should keep that in mind when we compare the two systems. Is MMP better for Ontario voters than FPTP? The answer is yes. And here is why

  • MMP allows voters to support any party they wish from any part of the province and that vote will not be wasted: In FPTP huge numbers of votes have absolutely no affect on parliament. Worse yet, voters who live in a safe riding for a party and don't wish to support that party are judged to be completely irrelevant by FPTP. This leads to geographic distortions in which huge number of votes for the Conservatives in Toronto are thrown away and a huge number of votes for non Conservatives in Alberta have the same thing happen to them. All of these problems don't occur in MMP because of the party vote. The only party votes that don't count in MMP are those for fringe parties.
  • MMP allows voters to vote for candidates and parties separately: FPTP combines the separate issues of voting for a candidate and voting for a party into one decision. What can voters do if they like a party but don't like the local candidate the party nominated, or if voters want to support a very impressive local candidate but don't want to support his or her party? In FPTP voters have no option but to either vote for a party, or a candidate they dislike. But with the one ballot, two vote system in MMP voters can split their vote to choose the best local candidate and the best party separately.
  • MMP provides voters with greater access to MPPs: Under our current system, Ontarians have the worst ratio of MPPs to Citizens' of any province in Canada.

    Ontario — 1 MPP per 110,777 people

    Quebec (next closest) — 1 MPP per 57,900 people

    Under MMP this improves to 1 per 85,500 people for Ontario. In all other places that use MMP list members regularly provide the same kinds of constituency services that local MPPs do. This is the experience in Germany, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales.

In the end the MMP system designed by the Ontario Citizens' Assembly puts political power in Ontario were it belongs, in our hands as the voters of Ontario.

If we choose to vote in significant numbers for small parties, then there will be small parties. If we don't then there won't be.

If more than half of us choose to support a party that party will have majority power. If more than half of us choose not to support a party, that party won't.

If we choose to vote for the Conservatives in Toronto, the Liberals in Barrie, the NDP in Eastern Ontario then these choices will matter and not be futile symbolic gestures.

FPTP does not allow us voters these choices. On October 10th choose the system for voters. Choose MMP.

Useful Links:

  • Citizens' Assembly: In their own words see why these Ontarians created this better alternative for Ontario.
  • yourbigdecision.ca: The Ontario governments official site on electoral reform
  • Vote For MMP: Great links to information and resources. Plus details on how you can help MMP win the referendum.
  • Dr Dawgs 10 myths about MMP: Most of the criticisms of MMP come from people who completely ignore how MMP and other proportional systems are actually working in different places right now. Dr Dawg sets the record straight.

If you have any MMP specific questions then please send me an email at

If I can't answer your question then I will be glad to put you in touch with someone who can.