Vancouver Wards

This Saturday, Vancouver is holding a non-binding referndum on the topic of moving to a wards-based electoral system, rather than the current at-large system. You can find out more about what this means (as well as how to participate), at the Decision 2004 site.

I find myself slightly conflicted on this issue. On one hand, having wards means that it becomes significantly easier for an independant to gain a seat on city council. Let’s say, for instance, that I run for city council, but I’m not affiliated with either COPE or the NPA (or any other party – they’re just the most dominant). Currently, I have to scrmble all over town to garner votes. In a ward system, I can focus only on my ward – thus vastly increasing my chance of getting elected. And having independents on city council is a good thing, I feel. The arena is small enough that youth or one-issue candidates can potentially have an effect, but not overwhelm the process.

Now, conversely, at a provincial, and possibly even federal level, there is much debate about moving away from a wards system (for provincial & federal ridings are the same thing as wards). Not to an at-large system, admittedly, but the complaint is about the undemocractic nature of ridings (in a more sparsely populated riding, your vote is worth more), as well allowing fringe parties more access to government. If, at the provincial level, it appears we’re moving towards a mixed system (50% electoral, 50% proportional representation (or some other mix – I believe those are the current figures)), why wouldn’t we do the same locally? (Of course, at the local level, the ‘party system’ works a little differently, so perhaps it simply doesn’t apply).

Regardless of where you stand on the wards/at-large question, please get out and vote on October 16. All you need are 2 pieces of ID if you’re not already registered. Remember, Chuck D thinks you should vote.

3 Replies to “Vancouver Wards”

  1. Back before we had instant communication all over the earth it was imparitive to send a representative to deal with issues for your region. Back then these elected officials had much more power then they do today because they couldn’t go back and forth, they had to rely on their on judgement. Of course now that is all changed and we really have no use for our ‘backbenchers’ as instant communication has allowed one leader or caucus to rule a nation.
    Perhaps in a city where there is a vastly decreased number of ridings and people in the ridings (not to mention the physical size) it makes sense to have someone specific to go to. Of course I am partial to the fact that we wanted this to go through so that we’d get at least ONE COPE person on the council 😉

  2. Back before we had instant communication all over the earth it was imparitive to send a representative to deal with issues for your region. Back then these elected officials had much more power then they do today because they couldn’t go back and forth, they had to rely on their on judgement. Of course now that is all changed and we really have no use for our ‘backbenchers’ as instant communication has allowed one leader or caucus to rule a nation.
    Perhaps in a city where there is a vastly decreased number of ridings and people in the ridings (not to mention the physical size) it makes sense to have someone specific to go to. Of course I am partial to the fact that we wanted this to go through so that we’d get at least ONE COPE person on the council 😉

  3. Back before we had instant communication all over the earth it was imparitive to send a representative to deal with issues for your region. Back then these elected officials had much more power then they do today because they couldn’t go back and forth, they had to rely on their on judgement. Of course now that is all changed and we really have no use for our ‘backbenchers’ as instant communication has allowed one leader or caucus to rule a nation.
    Perhaps in a city where there is a vastly decreased number of ridings and people in the ridings (not to mention the physical size) it makes sense to have someone specific to go to. Of course I am partial to the fact that we wanted this to go through so that we’d get at least ONE COPE person on the council 😉

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