Democracy

Submitted by Team Jean

Door-to-door voter registration
The City of Vancouver should reinstate city-funded door-to-door voter enumeration to make sure that renters, indigenous people, and other racialized groups that have been systematically disenfranchised are not left off the voter rolls.

Make it easier to vote
In the 2014 municipal election, only 2 out of 8 advanced voting stations were on the eastside of Vancouver, and the closest station to the poorest neighbourhood was 2.5km away — prompting a human rights complaint. The City of Vancouver should ensure that there are more polling stations, distributed equitably across the city during the 2018 municipal election, and allow free transit on election day.

Ward system
Under a wards system, Vancouver City Council would be more representative of the diverse people and neighbourhoods of the city. With wards, voters feel more engagement with their elected officials, turnout increases, and Councillors are better able to address the needs of their local constituencies. The power in City Hall would be taken out of the hands of a few wealthy political parties and put back into the communities that City Councillors are supposed to represent.

The Vancouver Charter includes the power to implement a ward system right now. The City of Vancouver should:
Develop a clear wards referendum question;
Bring a motion to City Council to trigger a ward system referendum;
Fund neutral education for voters prior the referendum;
Set the threshold at 50% and implement in good faith the results of the referendum.

Extend voting rights to permanent residents
60,000 permanent residents — about 10% of the city’s population — work, pay taxes and contribute to our community but do not have right to vote. In January 2017, Vancouver’s Independent Election Task Force recommended extending the franchise to permanent residents, but actions haven’t been taken to make this happen in the or the 2018 civic elections. The City should immediately extend voting franchize to all permanent residents in Vancouver.