Simple MMP Compared to Jenkins Inspired Model

The Jenkins Inspired Model is listed by Fair Vote Canada as one of the options available.  The Jenkins Model was by the Jenkins Commission in the UK, and the Jenkins Inspired Model is modified to fit Canada.

Here’s how it works:

  • There would be 203 ridings in Canada, organized into 42 topup regions.
  • As a result, there would be 203 local MPs and 135 top-up MPs.
  • The ballot has two votes, one for your local MP, and one for your regional top-up
  • The Local MP is selected on the basis of an alternate vote system, so voters are asked to rank candidates 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Top-up members are selected based on the percentage of support based on the top-up votes only (there is no compensation for the already elected local MPs).

The ability of this model to include proportionally elected regional top-ups offers to improve the proportionality of results over the existing first past the post system. However, as noted in the SMMP compared to Alternate Vote page, use of the Alternate Vote system to select the local MPs actually reduces the proportionality of that portion of system.  Since this model is more heavily weighted towards local (60%) over top-up (40%), it is not clear that this system would result in any improvement to the existing system.

Simple MMP is preferable to this system because:

  1. Simple MMP has no reliance of transferring of votes, as happens in Alternate Voting processes, so every vote counts, and every vote is seen to count.
  2. Simple MMP achieves an extremely high level of proportionality, primarily because the top-up system is compensatory (takes into account the outcomes of the local MPs elected).
  3. The Jenkins Inspired Model top-up regions consist of an average of 12 existing ridings, of which there would be an average of 7 local candidates and 5 independently selected top-ups. Since there are only 5 top-ups, participation will be limited to parties with levels of support of about 15%, which would exclude proportionality for those voters whose parties do not achieve this level.