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Ward system of elections for Kamloops?

NEWS/ POLITICS — Should Kamloops City council be elected on a ward system in which councillors represent specific areas of the city?

That’s one question in a new Kamloops Voters Society survey that gives residents an opportunity to say what they think about politics in Kamloops.

BallotboxThe online survey, which runs until Oct. 15, will be used to write a series of questions to council candidates. The questions and answers will be available through media and the KVS website Nov. 3. Results from the survey itself will be revealed by Oct. 20.

The KVS initiated what has become known as the Kamloops Vote50 initiative, a campaign by interested local groups to raise the turnout at the Nov. 15 civic election to 50 per cent from 29 per cent in the last election three years ago.

Brad Harrison of the KVS said the survey is designed to get residents thinking about the election and to give input on specific topics and other municipal issues. The survey can be accessed at kamloopsvoterssociety.ca or directly at KVS Survey – Voter Feedback.

The ward-system question provides an option between a full ward system and a hybrid system in which some councillors would be elected at large and some in wards.

The ward system question asks: “Do you agree that the City of Kamloops should switch to a ward or combination Hybrid Ward election system? This would include a minimum of two representatives from both the North and South shores and four councillors at large?”

The survey also asks questions about more polling stations,  candidate slates, restrictions on financial contributions, term limits, evening meetings, Ajax and other issues. It includes a space for specific questions to candidates.

About three to five minutes is needed to complete the survey, says the KVS.

About Mel Rothenburger (9367 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on Ward system of elections for Kamloops?

  1. The ward system is long over due. Maybe the North Shore would finally get some representation. If we had the ward system, at least three of the present councillor would be flighting it out for the same seat.

    Quoting from a study, the origin I can’t remember:
    The large systems are contrary the democratic interests of the average voter. They make it unlikely for any unfunded candidate to get elected and tend to ensure that only the upper socio-political few are capable of obtaining representation. Running for council in an at large system is expensive, and voter turnout lower than in Ward systems.

    In an at-large system, the name of the game tends to be name recognition.

    The trend in similar-sized Ontario municipalities (50,000 -100,000 population) has been to move to the ward system. Vancouver is the only Canadian city of over 100,000 people to retain an at-large system.

  2. I also think that having 4 councilors ” at large ” would negate any perceived benefits of a ward system.

  3. A ward system? Absolutely not. A step backwards, especially nowadays with such a low voters turnout and engagement.

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