- BC Games
Connect with Us
Why not put civic and provincial elections on same three-year schedule?
Re: Four over three (Editorial, NewsLeader, Sept. 27)
Was this a misprint, a slip-of-the-tongue, or does the author really believe the local electoral system must be reformed in order to "reduce council turnover?"
Can this be right?
What are we talking about—a civic government responsible to citizens, or a sweatshop with a mean boss who drives people into quitting? The purpose of democratic elections is exactly to facilitate turnover of policians in an orderly, peaceful way.
I am equally unconvinced by the other reasons given in defense of increasing civic politicians' terms from three to four years. I still need proof how residents will get a "better bang for their tax buck."
And I do not see why British Columbia should follow other provinces on this specific issue. Instead, how about following Alberta in eliminating provincial income tax when LNG revenue starts coming in?
I do see serious advantages, however, if provincial and municipal elections were held concurrently—same day, same place, same staff, each voter just getting two ballots. The most important improvement would be, hopefully, increased voter participation.
Costs would also be reduced significantly. And since provincial and city positions would be up for election at the same time, there would be less opportunity for cross-support—the practice of currently elected provincial politicians campaigning for local politicians who later return the favour.
Should we decide to have both elections on same day, another question remains. Why every four years? Why not every three?
As a point of reference, consider our neighbour to the south, where most political offices have a two-year term.