Our city needs a better electoral system

Instead of trying to reach the whole city populace, a better electoral system could be created for 2014.

To the editor:

Re: Nov. 19 municipal election.

Instead of trying to reach the whole city populace, a better electoral system could be created for 2014 in which there were regions or wards in the city, instead of 30 to 40 candidates at large seeking eight seats.

If Kelowna had approximately five regions with two members to be elected in each one, and there was also a clear system of regional alliances or parties representing clear intentions and policies, electors could have fewer choices—say four to possibly six candidates to choose from with more clearly defined programmes and emphases.

In addition, the resources of candidates in both money and time could be used in much more concentrated parts of the city for maximum effect. Just as members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected from a small region, they must, when they arrive at the Legislature or parliament, work together for the common good of their party, their province or country.

In this way, locally elected councillors in a ward or region would work together in city council in a team approach to achieve shared objectives.

This system would strengthen local democracy and make it easier for fewer candidates to run in smaller geographical areas where they reside. Candidates with a larger vision of the needs for the community as a whole are those the city needs. In addition, we need globally thinking and co-operative candidates sharing values and visions, not just hidden agendas of dubious or uncertain and unclarified content.

Too many qualified people ran this last time and frankly it was like a ‘crap shoot’ as to who would be a good Councillor.

The main objective is to create a workable council in 2014 of winners from wards that could represent possibly many groups in the city and still guarantee workable arrangements to produce and achieve results. For example, the general population of the Northern Territories of Canada do not elect their premiers, especially in Nunavut. The elected council of legislative assembly selects one of their number, by an election, to be the leader. It’s a co-operative effort recognizing experience and ability to compromise.

We ought not to be electing mayors directly where there is a winner and a loser. Much is lost in that system.

Electoral reform at the municipal level is possible. Do we have the will to create something better and tried elsewhere, for our city? And is it possible to enact within three years?

John O.Powell,

Kelowna