Why such a long ballot in Vancouver?

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Why such a long ballot in Vancouver?

On October 15, 2022, Vancouverites will have to choose among the 138 candidates registered on the electoral list.

The length of ballots is one of the things most criticized by voters and some candidates during this year's municipal elections. For example, in Vancouver there are over 70 candidates for city councillors, while Surrey has over 50.

In Vancouver alone there are over 130 people who wish to be elected to the positions of mayor, councillor, school trustee or member of the parks commission.

Unlike many major Canadian cities, Vancouver and other British Columbian cities use a first-past-the-post system.

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In this mode, each voter is entitled to a number of votes corresponding to the number of seats to be filled.

The candidates who obtain the highest number of votes are elected.

In Vancouver, for example, it will be necessary to elect 1 mayor, 10 city councillors, 7 members of the parks commission and 9 school trustees.

Stewart Perst, a political scientist at Quest University, says the establishment of a system of municipal electoral wards, much like provincial and federal ridings, doesn't sit well with everyone.

“This really changes the main concerns: candidates will no longer be gathering arguments for the needs of the city, but on the needs of their neighborhood.

—Stewart Prest, political scientist, Quest University

A recent poll found that 58% of respondents said they favored a move to ward voting.

Research Co.'s poll was conducted online from 7-9 June 2022 to 400 potential voters in Vancouver. The results have been weighted to reflect the city's population as of the last census. If this poll had been conducted with a probability sample, its margin of error would be estimated at +/- 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Narima Dela Cruz, an independent candidate for city councilor in Surrey, says ward voting would better serve the interests of different wards in the city and more importantly give local candidates a chance to win a seat. /p>

Right now, with the current first-past-the-post system, we have to campaign across the city and that' is nearly impossible.

—Narima Dela Cruz, independent candidate for Surrey City Councilor

Administratively, towns should be divided into neighborhood, says Gerald Baier, professor of political science at the University of British Columbia.

He adds that the ward voting system would promote negotiations with the provincial and federal governments on funding issues in housing and transportation .

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