Mixed Member Majoritarian (MMM)


A voting system that is very similar to MMP in which FPTP and List PR are both used to allocate seats in the Legislative Assembly and voters have a separate vote under each system. Some seats are filled at the local electoral district level under FPTP, while other seats are filled at the regional or provincial level under List PR. For example, there could be 50 seats that are filled directly by voters in specific electoral districts and 30 seats that are filled by voters across the province or in a region that votes for candidates on provincewide or regional party lists.

In MMM, unlike MMP, the List PR seats are not allocated to compensate for any disproportional results from the FPTP vote – instead, the List PR seats are allocated proportionally only amongst themselves. While MMM produces more proportional results than FPTP, it does not necessarily produce closely proportional results overall and is usually referred to as a semi-proportional system.

Voting & Results


  • Voters cast two votes – one vote to elect a single MLA for an electoral district (FPTP), and one vote for a party to elect MLAs on a regional or provincewide list (List PR).
  • Two-part ballot:
    • Part 1 lists the candidates for the local electoral district (“FPTP seats”).
      • Voters in each electoral district vote to elect a single MLA
      • Voters mark an ‘X’ beside the candidate of their choice
      • The candidate with the most votes wins the seat in the Legislative Assembly to represent the electoral district
    • Part 2 lists the parties running in a region or provincewide (“list seats”)
      • Lists may be “open” (voters vote for a candidate of their choice) or “closed” (voters vote for a party of their choice) – see “List PR”
      • Voters mark an ‘X’ beside the candidate or political party of their choice (may be the same party as the FPTP candidate they support or a different party)
      • Each political party receives a share of the list seats in the Legislative Assembly that corresponds with its share of the list seat vote across the region/province
      • These list seats are not “top up” seats and do not take into account any disproportional results from the FPTP vote
      • The list seats are filled either by the candidates for that party in the order of the list established by the political party at the start of the election (closed list) or by the candidates for that party in the order of the number of votes the candidates received (open list)
      • Election law will establish a formula to determine the number of seats each party is entitled to when the popular vote results (expressed as a percentage) would give a party a fraction of a seat
      • A minimum percentage of the popular vote may be established (e.g. 2% or 5%) below which a political party would not be eligible to receive any seats

Tendencies


  • Somewhat proportional (more proportional than FPTP but less than List PR, STV or MMP)
  • More likely to produce single-party majority governments than List PR, STV or MMP but less likely than FPTP
  • Fewer, larger electoral districts than currently under FPTP or a significant increase in the total number of MLAs to support the additional list seats
  • Elects candidates from larger political parties and some smaller parties and only rarely independent candidates
  • Minority or coalition governments may occur, but are less likely than under List PR, STV or MMP

Perceived Strengths


  • Identifiable local representation
  • Increased voter choice (both a local MLA and a party)
  • If party list is closed, political parties determine mix of candidates, which may result in greater diversity
  • Relatively simple ballot to mark
  • Most list seat votes will contribute towards electing an MLA

Perceived Weaknesses


  • How proportional results are is highly dependent on the number of electoral district seats vs. the number of list seats
  • Creates two “classes” of MLAs – those who represent a local district and those who are elected from a regional or provincewide list
  • Challenging for voters to hold individual MLAs accountable if they can be included on party list and elected despite not winning an electoral district seat
  • Can be difficult to understand how list votes are turned into seats
  • Potential delays in forming government after an election if negotiations between parties are required

To learn more about MMM, visit this independent electoral information website:

ACE Project (see “Parallel Systems”)