this month, COPE will begin to develop policy that could see voters
have another say at whether the city needs to change the at-large
municipal voting system.
COPE electeds and executive members
will be visiting the 14 ward neighbourhoods (as recommended in the 2003
electoral reform commission) to ask residents what form of voting or
other civic engagement would best represent their communities.
representatives will be there to hear about neighbourhood priorities —
everything from pot holes to electoral reform — and will use that
feedback to develop a policy which could end up on the ballot in 2011.
to Executive Director, Rachel Marcuse, "We are not necessarily attached
to the idea of wards but we are attached to the idea of increased
neighbourhood participation and enhanced local democracy."
COPE External Chairperson, Alvin Singh, "We’re now seeing shockingly
low voter turnout during elections, including at the municipal level.
We want to make sure that young people, ethnic populations and other
groups and individuals feel that their votes matter — and that they
have a say between elections as well."
The first "travelling neighbourhood office" will take place on Saturday, October 17 from 2-4 at Commercial Drive and Grant St..