How do you vote?
With Simple MMP, you mark your vote for your favourite candidate exactly as you do now.
How does it become proportional?
In each province, there will just as many MPs as there are now, only there will be only half as many ridings as there are today. In most cases, two existing ridings will be folded together into a single riding.
The winners from these new ridings are the first half of the MPs who will represent the province. They are referred to as Local MPs.
Your vote does more than just elect your local representative. It also goes into a provincial pool. From the provincial pool, the second half of the MPs are selected so that the total seats from your province represent, as closely as possible, the percentage of votes for each party in the province.
These additional MPs are called Top-Up MPs because they are topping up the seat count for each party.
How are the top-up seats selected?
The party for each top-up seat is based on which party has the largest gap between their percentage of seats and their overall popular vote percentage. In simple terms, each top up seat goes to the party that has the biggest gap between the seats they deserve and the seats they already have. The individual MP within this party is selected based on who received the highest vote within their party who does not already have a seat. This process is repeated until all top up seats are filled.
Only one Top-Up MP is selected from each riding. This means that most or all ridings will have two representatives, one Local MP and one Top-Up MP. Citizens can approach either or both to deal with constituency issues. In provinces with an odd number of ridings, one riding will have only the Local MP and no Top-Up MP.
Sometimes, when the popular vote for a party is over 50% in one province, all of the candidates from that party will either be elected directly or as a top-up MP. After that, one or two members may need to be selected from a party list for that province. If the 2015 election had been held with this system, a total of 5 MPs would have been selected from lists, while the rest would be selected based on highest support of the voters.
For a more detailed look at how top-up MPs are selected, see How the Top-Up MPs are selected
Doesn’t that mean that there will be more than one MP from a riding?
Most ridings will have two MPs selected, one local and one top-up.
This challenges our current system where we have one MP for one riding. Today, constituents access their MP if they are having problems navigating the bureaucracy of government, and their MP tries to help them out. Under Simple MMP, you can access your local MP or your top-up MP to get that kind of assistance.
This may require MPs to do some coordination of their constituency work with others, so that people don’t shop around too much with the same issue to multiple MPs. People are entitled to a hearing of their issues, but it is also important for MPs to perform their constituency work efficiently.
How simple is that?
- No changes in the act of voting.
- Few or no changes in the administration of the voting process.
- No changes in how results are reported on election night.
- Completely transparent selection process.
- Fully proportional results in each province.
- No constitutional issues
- Limited need for redrawing electoral boundaries, as pairs of ridings will be merged together to address most of the provincial needs.
(Edited September 17 regarding two MPs per riding)