Wanted: Democracy heroes to join Vancouver’s new Election Task Force. Apply by March 18 (extended March 24)

(Updated: We are not aware of any formal public announcement, but based on e-mails being circulated, the date for application has been extended to March 24, 2016, 5pm.)

(Reproduced below is a heads-up message from a Vancouver resident. That contributor cannot apply to the Election Task Force, as the terms of reference exclude anyone who has been affiliated with a Vancouver civic political party (or run as a candidate) during any of the past 4 elections.)

Leveling the playing field: Who has enough money to reach voters? Do you yearn for a day when Vancouver’s civic elections are fair and free of the undue financial influence of corporations, unions and developers?

Does your heart break to see important, course-setting city elections decided by as little as a third of the electorate that actually bothers to vote?

Have you ever asked yourself whether local elections in Vancouver could be run in such a way that the outcome better reflects the democratic will of its citizens?

If so, I hope you’ll consider stepping up to join the City of Vancouver’s new Election Task Force. Apply here until March 18. (Note extended to March 24th.)

As someone who has been passionate about the issue of local elections and campaign finance reform for the past five years, I was about to apply myself, only to learn that members of the task force must not have been affiliated with any civic political party for the past four elections. That cancels me out :-(. That’s why I’m hoping that, among the readers of this blog, there may be citizens unblemished by recent political party affiliation who nonetheless share my passion for a fairer, stronger and more effective local democracy.

The Election Task Force is being established as a result of a Council decision in February 2015 to conduct a review of the 2014 civic election and come up with a plan to strengthen the democratic qualities of future elections, including considerations of such things as:

  • Campaign finance reform
  • Proportional voting systems
  • Online voting
  • Extending the vote to Permanent Residents
  • Ways to encourage greater participation in local elections

The task force will be asked to make recommendations both with regards to what the City can do on its own authority, as well as how the City can prevail upon the provincial government to enable the reforms that only it holds the keys to.

Please check out the background and terms of reference for the Election Task Force here: http://council.vancouver.ca/20160120/documents/pspc5.pdf



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