Policy Issues with Ontario Municipal Elections – October 26, 2018

Good morning subscribers!

This past Monday, elections took place in municipalities across Ontario. In some municipalities the results were shocking. In others, not so much. Either way, there remains a number of policy issues regarding regulations on political advertising and the nuances of municipal election systems. With elections fresh on people’s minds, this week’s morning brief will focus on voting issues. Enjoy!

This week’s Morning Brief was prepared by Jasper Paredes. Sign up here to receive the Morning Brief directly to your inbox.

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  • Lawn signs are a major component of political visibility and have historically been used to build and mobilize support from voters. However, property regulations place restrictions on who can post signs and where they can post them. Consequently, low income and middle-class residents may be disproportionately restricted from supporting political candidates that reflect their best interests. [Mattes/PPGR]
  • Toronto’s current first-past-the-post voting system has been criticized by for not being maximally inclusive and fair, which has prompted debate about electoral reform for several years now. So what are some alternatives to the current voting system used for Municipal elections? Cayla Baarda explains the merits of ranked ballot voting which has recently been adopted by Ontario municipalities like London. [Baarda/PPGR]
  • What can the government do to increase the political participation of the youth? With decreasing youth participation rates and an aging demographic, this question is as important as ever in the name of strengthening democracy and increasing the political force of the youth. Accordingly, Federico Vargas argues why and how Canada should lower the minimum voting age to 16 [Vargas/PPGR]
  • In 2003, about 12 Ontario municipalities introduced the option of online voting. 15 years later, almost 200 municipalities now allow citizens to vote electronically. However, despite the conveniences and benefits associated with this voting method, there remains concerns regarding cyber security and transparency. [Butler/CBC]

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s batch of articles! The next edition of the Brief will be making its way into your inboxes on October 31st.