Thank you, Chair.
I have a really great five-minute presentation. I'll cut it down. I'm here today to talk really quickly about a system called ranked pairs, which I emphasize is not ranked ballots. I submitted a not very brief brief entitled “The Ranked-Pairs Project”, and I urge you all to delve deeply into that document for the particulars.
Ranked pairs is a member of the class of electoral systems called Condorcet methods. You've already heard at least one witness, Dr. Maskin of Harvard, on August 30, speak of majority rule elections, which is just another name for bare-bones Condorcet. As you may recall from Dr. Maskin's presentation, however, it's possible, though arguably rare, that bare-bones Condorcet in a real election doesn't work. In order to deal with such cases, we need to complete the basic Condorcet model, and that's what ranked pairs does.
In summary, ranked pairs is easy for voters to understand and do, although somewhat more work for election officials. It can use the same ballots we use now, changing only how we mark them and how we evaluate them, though I do propose a different form of a ballot to facilitate using optical reader technology, which has been tried and true for generations.
In a single voting round, each voter casts a single, simple preferential ballot from which, in a single counting round, a round robin one-to-one matchup of each candidate against the other candidate ensues, holistically considering all preferences from all ballots. There's no harm whatsoever to any candidate due to the presence of similar candidates. There's no concern about vote splitting, no strategic voting, and the result will be readily accepted by most people as the true majority decision.
Ranked pairs are scrupulously unbiased and confer no systemic advantage to any party. As an added bonus, we can use the exact same ridings, so we don't need to wade into extensive redistributions and the time and effort that would entail, meaning that it is eminently feasible to implement well in time for the next election.
While my immediate purpose is that this be a straightforward plug-in replacement to our existing first-past-the-post elections, it's important to also note that it can be easily used to augment a mixed member PR system in whatever flavour that might end up, or even replace a multi-representation system such as STV. It slices, it dices, it chops.
I would refer you again to the details in my submission, “The Ranked-Pairs Project” and my website, ranked-pairs.ron-mckinnon.ca, and I will be happy to make myself available to the committee should you have any questions or concerns.