City of Vancouver’s Council will hear a report today from the Independent Election Task Force. Created in early 2016, the 12-member group realizes that most electoral issues are under Provincial control, and have issued a call for “more choice and flexibility in how municipalities manage their elections . . ”

voting-booth

The broad-brush recommendations are:

  • Adopt a proportional voting system
  • Reform campaign financing — including closer scrutiny of ties between matters before council involving donors
  • Increase voter turnout, in part by extending voter rights to permanent residents (roughly 60,000 such people currently can’t vote)
  • Make detailed balloting data (in anonymous form) available as open data
  • Conduct an online voting pilot (a contentious topic, studied and rejected by a Provincial Panel in 2014)

From the Executive Summary:   Vancouver City Council established an Independent Election Task Force to recommend changes based on Council directives concerning the delivery of municipal elections in the city of Vancouver. These directives all have the potential, if implemented, to contribute to improved public confidence in the electoral processes at the municipal level and increase voter engagement — with a key goal being to increase voter turnout to at least 60 per cent by 2025.

Thanks to Frances Bula for the heads-up in the Globe and Mail.