Councillor troubled ranked ballot referendum may be meaningless

By  | November 1, 2017 | 19 Comments | Filed under: TIME FOR A NEW MAYOR AND 90% of COUNCIL IN 2018

CAMBRIDGE — Don’t get too excited, fans of ranked voting.

Yes, on Halloween Night, Cambridge City Council unanimously approved a question to appear on the 2018 municipal ballot asking if city voters are in favour of switching from the traditional first-past-the-post ballots to ranked ballots for 2022.

But those referendum results, yea or nay, will almost certainly be toothless.

“I don’t believe it,” Coun. Mike Devine said. “That’s ridiculous.”

No, it’s true, assured city clerk Michael Di Lullo.

If Cambridge doesn’t get a 50 per cent voter turnout next Oct. 22, the results won’t be binding. Not even if ranked ballots — which can take into account voters’ second and third choices and so on — get approval from more than half of voters who do show up.

Last election, Cambridge pulled in only a 30 per cent turnout.

“In order for a referendum to be valid, at least 50 per cent of the eligible electors in a municipality have to vote on voting day,” Di Lullo said.

So the simple, 20-word question headed for municipal ballots in less than a year — Are you in favour of the City of Cambridge using a ranked ballot voting system for the 2022 municipal election? — may be an exercise, costs to be determined, in irrelevancy.

“It’s not logical. It’s insane,” Devine said after the meeting.

“It should be 50 per cent of the people who voted, plus one.”

But the city clerk assures, it isn’t. Heck, if the province doesn’t approve of the question that city council rubber-stamped on trick-or-treat Tuesday, the question might not even appear on the ballot after all. The referendum could be vetoed in a minister’s office.

But if it does appear, it still has value to Mayor Doug Craig.

“What it does is, it gives an indication to the next council,” Craig said. “And then we take that indication and then we have more validity in the future if we want to change things.”

So what’s the big selling point of a ranked system?

It makes sure the winning candidate gets elected with a majority of the vote. If the leader gets more than 50 per cent of the votes in the first count — Craig got 53 per cent in taking his fifth term in 2014 — he or she wins. If not, the lowest vote-getter is eliminated and second choices come into play.

This process continues until the winner has a majority.

A year ago, Waterloo and Cambridge both voted against introducing ranked ballots for 2018. Kitchener followed their dismissive lead in time for last Valentine’s Day. London is the only Ontario municipally to used ranked ballots next election.

But Cambridge is still exploring the matter with a referendum question for 2018. The problem is, the results won’t settle anything unless voter turnout is 50 per cent.

“What it means is, the likelihood of any referendum in Ontario passing is pretty remote,” Craig said.

Which left at least one city councillor rankled.

“I can see why they’re making pot legal,” Devine said.



19 Responses to Councillor troubled ranked ballot referendum may be meaningless

  1. Debbie Duff Vitez November 1, 2017 at 10:22 am

    And so it begins Cambridge..

    Watch the games play out for the next 11 months..

    (all in the name of them getting voted back in.. and those who didn’t follow the leader will go..)

    Enuf November 2, 2017 at 10:55 am

    So they say the Mayor got 50% of the votes…but ranked ballot has to gain 50% of votes. So they are speaking out of both sides of their mouth again cause not 50% of Cambridge even voted? They just manipulate words and numbers to make it work for what they want.
    Guess the Mayor does not intend to run in the 2022 election and so now he can play this game of making people think he is listening to them.

    Public information sessions were to be put in place already so that ranked ballot voting could happen for 2018, not just be a referendum on the ballot.

    Just more BS coming from city officials to play mind games with the sheep who would rather listen to well worded speeches rather than investigate themselves.

    This city is falling apart from bad decisions and it is time for new people who will put the taxpaying residents first.

    Maggie November 2, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Right – here we go again. It should have been put in place for 2018 – but right – craig against it but o.ked it for 2022 when he will likely let Cambridge be a decent city & get lost. Of course he is making a mess of it before leaving – just love the 2 Million dollar bridge to NOWHERE!!! And we have great site selections IN CENTRAL CAMBRIDGE for the complex but guess he is still getting paid off by Tibbetts – this is all so crazy & no sense to it at all.
    Look at our Mall – it is dying – but idiot craig wants to help Kitchener by building OUR COMPLEX IN KITCHENER. Great – I thought the Mayor & Councillors were to help the people paying their wages. Craig – get lost – you are the dumbest person I know if you continue with Conestoga. It is just plain stupid.
    Wake up Councilors & make Craig support our City – not his pocket book. Cannot believe you Councillors would even consider other than Central Cambridge. The Mall would be a great site – put the 50 m. swim part there & let the Ice Park have 2 rinks. Even a 2 year old could figure this out. Dumb Dumb & Dumber….. Craig & followers……………..grrrr

    Chester November 4, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Debbie has it all right.
    Put off Ranked until Craig out of picture. Really – who is kidding who????
    Let’s put him out of the picture this next election.
    He is snowballing the Complex.
    Mall Site would be great &/or split with Ice Park – at least that guy knows his business. Should let him run it all.
    o.k. taxpayers – wake up. Go to Council meeting. Know what they are doing & not doing. It is really a crime the way they run this City.
    The Complex is a great way to support business people in Cambridge – WHY IS OUR MAYOR NOT DOING THIS???? HE IS STILL TALKING ABOUT SENDING OUR MONEY TO KITCHENER.
    It is crazy – a kid could run this better than our brainless Mayor – quit please!!

    perry glendel November 5, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    This city is so mickey mouse. Some council people are really in the dark. l spoke to a Shannon guy and he is clueless. He hardly looked me in the eye and still never answered my question. He didn’t even ask for my name or number. How much does this guy drink?

    Maggie November 5, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Not sure – but we think the Mayor & 5 of Council are on something – the reason being they can’t seem to realize that the Sports COMPLEX should be built in central Cambridge. What is so hard about this. They have been given excellent information, many suitable sites, but they just drag along. It seems 5 of the Councillors are afraid of Craig. Not sure why – although we hear he is a “control freak” – so if the 5 Councillors have no back bone – they cave in. Thank goodness we have 3 THINKING COUNCILLORS.
    The reason they don’t look you in the eye is they are ashamed of themselves for being such spineless wimps. & getting paid to do a disgusting nothing job for us.
    Taxpayers should wake up to this COMPLEX situation & attend Council meetings, email all the Councillors (or one will ignore you), and see just what is going on with your money$$$ It could be sent out of town.
    This COMPLEX must be built in town – central – to help the Mall & other businesses trying to make a living here.
    Isn’t this the Mayor’s job to look after the people. I won’t say the people that voted him in as the voting system has been very questionable.
    The Mayor just builds BRIDGES TO NOWHERE$$$$ How dumb – how dumb………

    perry glendel November 7, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    What a joke this city has for a mayor. Maybe this guy owes a ton of favors and has to run again. I saw him in Fairview and he looks to be in pain. Maybe the clock is ticking.

    Maggie November 8, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    He is a pain – to the honest Taxpayer in Cambridge. He just does not care about us. I do not understand why there is not a huge uproar from the business people re building our Complex out-of-town. Do not understand that there is not just a BIGGER UPROAR from the citizens of this City.
    We have a delinquent Mayor who cares about no one but himself & his ego. He ought to be ashamed of himself re this Complex situation.
    Our swim group has to drive to Brantford to find a 50 M pool to practice in. To Brantford – really!!! They did Fund Raising there – why isn’t it being done here – & why haven’t our Council members looked into this. This whole thing STINKS. Just like our phoney Mayor. PEOPLE WAKE UP. Call your Councilor – call all of them – bug the Mayor. Make him see the light!!

    Tom Vann November 8, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Hey folks. Remember…. “WE” own the pool, not the swim teams. It is a community build. Just because the yappy pool (build it anywhere) people speak, we don’t have to listen. If the idiots put anything at the college they gotta be turfed. Now comes the rigged voting practices of Cambridge. People in this town are often fooled by liars. Watch for it….It’s coming. Soon the puppet parade begins. The wife gave me the okay to run. I want to be in ward 6. Got screwed in 2010 but I only have to beat the Buffet boy. The puppet that helped them out in 2010 won’t be back. For years I stated the pay-outs, retention pay, huge raises and benefits to Cops and Firemen would eventually kill municipalities. Anyone ready to say I was right? They are burying their neighbours. Please try to stay awake on the 24 hour shifts like other hard working people have to. The professional unions are killing us. Did I leave anyone out? Ole’

  10. Debbie Duff Vitez November 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    If 50% of the population have to vote to get a referendum, then 50% of the population have to vote in order for the Election to be considered LEGAL.

    WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER MR CRAIG.. we are tired of your games..

    Maggie November 12, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Exactly Debbie. Even steven. This whole political situation stinks.
    That’s why the Mayor turned down Ranked voting. Oh maybe next election.
    Ha Ha – guess he didn’t want it in for 2018 as he is sure to run again – right!
    TAXPAYERS – VOTERS – wake up & know what is going on.
    Without Ranked/paper voting our votes will be fixed. Read all the information on internet/voting, etc. Can definitely be fixed.
    So even if you are an honest voter – without Ranked voting – you will never know if your vote got counted where you wanted it to go.
    We need Ranked/paper voting for 2018.

    Tom Vann November 16, 2017 at 8:12 am

    The best way to win is to ensure the system works in your favor. A note: I spoke with several residents and the hot seat is on the DUI, home growth, who’s the cop, etc. member. People are really pissed at the 1,800 plus homes….traffic issues problem. Look at the homes going up for sale. I can’t wait for the election debates. Weapon of mass destruction will now include verbal assaults. Can you see the election jockeying going on lately? Have a nice day.

    Bozo November 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    how is the queen of malcontents looking

    Tom Vann November 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Is Donna eighty years old or was I given BS. By far the worst ever alderman. I just watched the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. Could you imagine a present day politician living in those times? They would be hung, shot, quartered, tarred and feathered. This gun amnesty is a joke. They make it seem things are getting cleaned off the street. Not often you see robbers with rifles. The 357 I shoot is hard enough to conceal. Looks like I will be wearing a turbine and face covering for the up coming elections again. I’m wearing my mask to all 3 elections. Shit will hit the fan if I get refused. Say hello to my little friend. Ole’.

    Maggie November 17, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Yes she is 80 plus – guess that’s why the multi colours & costume jewellery and hallowe’en outfits. To disguise her age. What do you think. Guess when she has to do all this self-preservation – she doesn’t have time to look after her Ward. My husband called her – probably a year ago about 2 items. Have not heard from her.
    Yes, why don’t we all wear our coverups when we vote. If others can – why can’t we. If not Ranked voting – won’t really matter what we wear – it’ll just be another election – where you don’t know if your vote ever got to the right candidate.
    See you there T.V. – in our disguises.

    Tom Vann November 18, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I got a call from Deb last night. She wants me to move in with her so I can look after her dog. I asked Lucy and she said to go ahead. I think she is going on a trip ’cause her bags are packed. I rated each council member best to worst. Jan,Nic, Mike D, Mike M, Frank, Shannon, Pam, Donna. I would sure hate to live on the West side in the next 2 years with Gaslight and all those 1,800+ homes going in. Can you even imagine the Park Hill bridge or the Blair round-a-bout? It’s bad enough now on Main St. Look at all the homes going up for sale near Victoria Park. Is it true an injection site is going up on the West side off of St. Andrews St.? I cruised by Dykes place the other day and was going to drop in to say hi but I was low on fuel. I might drop down to see him before Christmas to give him some advice on living a healthy and happy life. I am going to try and bury the hatchet on bad relations come 2018. Perhaps he might even go ice fishing with me. Joy to the world. Some days I surprise myself. I’m working on Bill C-51 Clause 14 section 176. I contacted Mr. May. If this gets removed, look for a religious bomb to go off on several fronts. Protection is in place for freedom of religion but the Liberals are about to remove section 176 and you can be tossed in jail or worse.

    Tom Vann November 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Ha. Bill C-51 Clause14 withdrawn before I knew it. Smart move but should never have been written.

  18. Debbie Duff Vitez November 22, 2017 at 10:46 am

    First off, I don’t have a dawg.. and you don’t have my home address.. Thank goodness for that second part.. LOL..
    But… I fully fully understand Lucy giving you permission to move out.. haha

    Thinker December 6, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Hmmm 2018 election time just around the corner…New Blood in Council…oh what a good idea…I can see it now..Dougie on the thorn and now at least 4 members of Council do not run to his beck and call…that would be interesting…think we need another member on Council to even up the score so Dougie can never break a ‘tie’ vote…big question here…should I run for Council and be a total thorn in the Mayor’s crown..or should I just sit back and do it as a Concerned Citizen and Taxpayer of this City….oh the possibilities

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