With the 2014 Ontario General Election coming to a close we can now take a look at the results and what they mean for Ontario.
Having managed to gain 10 seats from the PCs, Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals managed to pick up a majority. What makes this win interesting though is that she was able to do so with only 38.7% of the popular vote. With voters quite evenly split between the three major parties (Liberal, PC, and NDP) one would think this election is a perfect example of why Ontario (and most places that rely on First Past the Post election systems) needs to introduce some electoral reform.
The following is a breakdown of the 2014 Ontario General Election results if the election would have been run using a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system. The comparison is between the current number of seats held by each party vs the number they would hold under MMP, and how that relates to the representation of the popular vote.
|Party||Current Seats||Current Seat Percentage||Popular Vote Percentage||Current Disparity||New Seats||New Combined percentage||New Disparity||Total Seats|
Taking a look a the chart we can see there are many differences between this breakdown and how the election actually turned out. Looking at the disparity between the popular vote across all the ridings and how they ended up being represented leaves much to be desired. The current total disparity of 32.19% (an absolute value of the sum off all the under and over representation by party) is much higher than the New Disparity of 0.69%. By using MMP the seat distribution in Ontario would much more closely represent the three-way race between parties in the province. The Liberals have the most to lose from a switch to MMP (17%) as they are grossly over-represented with 55% of the seats and the support of only 38% of the voters.
What the MMP system also does is help smaller parties who have a low, but consistent base of support across the province. In Ontario the Green party consistently receives around 5% of the popular vote but has failed to ever win a seat because that support is spread across many ridings. Using MMP the Green party would win 11 seats, which would bring them in line with their province-wide level of support. The other party that would benafit from this electoral system would be the Libertarian party, who while not getting even a whole percentage point of support would still receive two seats.
So while Kathleen Wynne and the Ontario Liberal Party might be celebrating a victory today, the voters of Ontario are the ones being left out in the cold by our outdated electoral system.