My name is Ross Keith. I'm from Regina. I'm here today because I had a unique opportunity to have some very direct experience with the ranked ballot process. I have for you today one observation and one plea.
My experience was as a director of the Canadian Wheat Board. As you're probably aware, there were 10 elected representatives and five appointed representatives. I was one of the appointed. Those elected farmers ran in ridings about the size of your ridings. The experience we had with that was that there was an absolutely exponential improvement after the ranked ballot process was in.
I have an example for you, and it was very contentious, as you know. On the pro-Wheat Board side there was one farmer who was an expert in marketing. Another was an expert in transportation. They were both very strongly in favour of the board. Their supporters had to choose between persons with different expertise.
The same thing happened on the other side. There was one incumbent who was afraid to run because they might split the vote. In terms of your engagement item here, it absolutely had more power than this strict notion about PR.
My message is that I hope you plugged into that experience from the Wheat Board with the ranked ballot process. I'm assuming that you have talked to Meyers Norris and Penny, which was sort of our electoral officer, our Elections Saskatchewan or Elections Canada.
Here's my plea for you: do not let it become just a poll between PR or ranked ballot and first past the post.
At the meeting that Mr. Harding talked about, we had the minister in town the other day, and there was a member of the audience, also a member of Parliament, our local NDP member, who got up and asked for a straw vote, so people were talking then about PR, ranked ballot, and first past the post. That's not on. You can have the benefits of all.
As Mr. Harding said, this is a design exercise. You need to pick the best from proportional representation and from ranked ballot. I believe there's one on the Fair Vote Canada site—