Election follow-up: Council adopts 2nd motion on “Review of the 2014 City of Vancouver Civic Election” (Feb 3)

Advance Poll Voting City HallIn CityHallWatch‘s ongoing follow-up of the 2014 civic election in Vancouver, here we report on and provide text of a second motion adopted by Council on “Review of the 2014 City of Vancouver Civic Election.” This was at a Regular Meeting of City Council on February 3, 2015 (agenda here).

Councillor George Affleck had attempted to bring up a discussion about election processes in November, during the election itself, and again in December after the election (see “2014 election followup: Irregularities swept under carpet. Transcript of City Council meeting (Dec 16), Vancouver“). He succeed in having one motion adopted on January 21, 2015 (for text of the adopted motion see “Election 2014: City Council passes motion on “Review of the 2014 City of Vancouver Civic Election” – Text, comments“). The emphasis on that motion is looking at problems in 2014. At the time, Councillor Reimer proposed different text reflecting her personal agenda, resulting in a separate motion, with parts quite different from the intent of Councillor Affleck’s original motion. The new text was discussed by Council as “unfinished business” on February 3, 2015. Council passed this motion, with one part opposed  by NPA Councillors Ball and Affleck. No time frame was indicated for action by City staff.

For posterity, we copy that adopted text below, as it has just recently been posted online (PDF minutes of 3-Feb-2015 Council meeting here). The discussion was rather interesting and worth watching. For example, the public learns for the first time that the City’s 311 telephone information line had received over 16,000 calls about the election. Also, it was clear from questioning by Councillor Carr that Councillor Reimer is pushing for some major changes to elections that have not come from systematic broad public input from Vancouver citizens (e.g., conduct an online voting pilot).  These items require a high degree of public scrutiny. Click here for the video clip of that discussion:
http://civic.neulion.com/cityofvancouver/index.php?clipid=3494170,004

Regular Council Meeting
Minutes, Tuesday, February 3, 2015

TOPIC: UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Review of the 2014 City of Vancouver Civic Election

Vancouver City Council, at its Regular Council meeting on January 20, 2015, referred a Motion on Notice on the above-noted matter to the Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation and Environment meeting on January 21, 2015, in order to hear from a speaker. Subsequently, on January 21, 2015, Council referred consideration of the motions set out below to the Regular Council meeting on February 3, 2015, as Unfinished Business. Councillor Affleck requested the components of the motion be separated for the vote.

MOVED by Councillor Reimer

A. THAT staff report back to Council to provide analysis on what factors were considered most significant to the 26% increase in voter turnout between the 2011 and 2014 municipal elections.

B. THAT staff report back to Council to provide recommendations for the membership and terms of reference for an independent committee with a broad mandate to:

(i) survey candidates and parties as to their experience in the election;

(ii) review whether the allocation of resources from Council is sufficient to meet expectations in an election; and

(iii) create a plan for advancing previous Council directives to staff regarding electoral procedures including:

(a) Request to Province for ability to implement campaign finance reforms including limits to contributions and a ban on corporate and union donations;

(b) Request to Province for ability to use proportional voting systems;

(c) Request to Province to make anonymous balloting data available in open data format after an election;

(d) Request to Province to conduct an online voting pilot;

(e) Priority Actions 14-18 from the Engaged City Task Force, and recommendation 07.2 from the Healthy City Strategy (set out below):

Engaged City Task Force – Priority Actions 14-18:
14. Increase the number of “positive cues” to encourage voting
15. Target Voter Registration
16. Investigate extending voting rights to permanent residents
17. Use the election ballot to get feedback on voter satisfaction with the current voting system
18. Take Action on campaign finance reform

Healthy City Strategy – 07.2:
By 2025, increase municipal voter turnout to at least 60 per cent.

CARRIED

(Councillors Affleck and Ball opposed to B(iii))

 

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