Those looking to serve on the Yukon government’s commission on electoral reform will now have an extra week to submit their applications.
That’s after the deadline to apply was extended from April 26 to May 3.
That’s a move that Premier Sandy Silver said Wednesday afternoon came out of conversations with both opposition parties.
The government had initially come out with the call for applications in a release issued on Tuesday which noted an April 26 deadline.
Just a day later, on Wednesday afternoon, an update showed the release had been changed to note a May 3 deadline instead.
Speaking Wednesday after question period, Silver said his intention wasn’t for the process to drag on.
“We’re going to go through the process of listening to feedback” from the opposition parties to appoint the three-member group, he said.
The intent is to eventually make public the report the commission submits to the government later this fall.
That commission will serve a term from May for an estimated six months, but could extend to the end of this year.
According to the draft terms of reference, each commissioner is to be paid for about eight days of work every month for the six months.
The group’s total budget is just over $178,000, and includes secretariat support that includes research and administrative help.
The commission will look to include feedback found from the government’s public engagement, the results of which were made available earlier this week.
According to the draft terms of reference for the group, the mandate of it is to include the feedback to do three things.
They are investigating and assessing choices to:
• ensure the electoral system captures the intentions of voters as well as possible;
• improve how parties and elected officials operate; and
• improve how Yukoners make their voices heard.
If the group finds there is a need for electoral system reform based on feedback from Yukoners, it could suggest “the strongest electoral system for territorial elections and propose a way” to bring this suggestion forward to voters.
When looking at how to improve political parties and how elected officials work, there is to be a focus on fair and transparent elections as well as political fundraising and spending rules.
The last goal of improving how citizens make their voices heard includes making sure they have flexible and accessible voting choices, are registered to vote and have the necessary information to vote, as well as understand how government works.
As for the results themselves, under five per cent of respondents chose options that suggested they did not want to pursue electoral reform or have a commission.
If there is a need to change electoral systems, the same number of people who believe the role of the commission is to show the strongest system for territorial elections, feel it should also recommend a public education plan about other systems.
Other results show that half of respondents feel elected officials reflecting the diversity of the territory is important, but most believe fair and transparent elections and political fundraising and spending are more important.
The territory is just one Canadian jurisdiction looking at the topic of electoral reform; currently, all use the same “first-past-the-post” style, but areas like P.E.I. are to hold a
referendum to gauge interest in switching systems later this month.
The Yukon’s southern neighbour, B.C., rejected making a change to proportional representation in a referendum late last year and opted for the status quo of first-past-