Thursday, May 9, 2013

Party Views on Reforming Politics

I like to keep my finger in the pie on electoral reform. I am involved with Fair Voting BC, the organization which represented the "YES" side on the 2009 referendum on STV. That referendum was lost, but the organization still exists and has several campaigns active at any one time, all with the theme of improving our democracy.

This election, FVBC is running a survey, which it sent out to all the major parties, and also to all candidates (even independents - the ones we could easily find, that is!). The survey asked about 20 questions about a variety of topics, including
  • ideas for increasing voter participation
  • campaign finance reform
  • decreasing party discipline
  • increasing citizen participation in decsion-making
  • electoral reform for municipalities
  • establishing a legislative budget office (like we have Federally)
The questions are posted here.  You will see that they are not easy to answer, and assume a fair amount of knowledge about how our government currently works, and about recent task forces and legislation related to governance. You, personally, may not be informed enough on many of these issues to formulate answers to all the questions, but the point is that your elected representative, who will be paid in excess of $100k per year, should be very well informed on these topics. If they are clueless, then why should we elect them??

The results have been collected and are rather interesting. They're posted here in detail.

The Conservative party declined to respond to the survey. The Greens had the most to say, and covered practically every question. Individual Green candidates provided extensive answers as well. The NDP and Liberal parties gave generic answers; the Liberals quite disappointing.

Several independent candidates also gave answers.

Locally, in New Westminster, independent James Crosty and Green party candidate Terry Teather answered the survey and their responses are posted.

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