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NEW RULES POSSIBLE – Parties and candidates in the 2021 Yukon election may face different rules from those who ran in 2016 (above). Seen left to right at a forum: then-Yukon Party premier Darrell Pasloski, NDP Leader Liz Hanson, Liberal Leader Sandy Silver and Green Party candidate Frank de Jong.

Electoral commission deadline extended by YG

Those looking to serve on the Yukon government’s commission on electoral reform will now have an extra week to submit their applications.

By Palak Mangat on April 11, 2019

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- the-post.

Comments (4)

Up 10 Down 2

Groucho d'North on Apr 13, 2019 at 6:36 pm

Liberal majorities - Is there anything they won't try to do?

Up 15 Down 6

Josey Wales on Apr 12, 2019 at 8:35 am

Yes but of course...we must manipulate the system to increase our chances of continued lordship over the peasants.
Lemme guess, voting booths set up in refugee camps all over the world, no ID no problem voting, dropping the age to better indoctrinated era.

Very, very serious games these seditious team red blowholes are playing, the time has come to be exponentially more serious than we have been.
Last round of electoral reform we got nagged by a seventh century sycophant that washed ashore under 100% false pretenses....to infiltrate our system of government.
Same fools called for compelled speech codes, and vilify all dissent of their
agenda to globalize, and discard our sovereignty.

Everything above is factual, within terms but most certainly not from a Liberal echo chamber...serious times call for serious discussions.

Up 17 Down 2

Al on Apr 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm

The make up of this commission I find disturbing. This does not sound like an all party bi-partisan initiative but rather two spectators with little or no say in the TOR or selection of commission members. The Liberals are holding tight all the cards and have only invited (in my view) the two opposition leaders to give the appearance of a united front.

I don't like the fact that the makeup is left with one party, and worse the governing one. This process and outcome is far too important to be left in the hands of the governing party, or any one party for that matter. The TOR and the makeup must include all three parties, all with an equal vote and compromised solution for the commission makeup. To do other than that will constitute the appearance of a one party solution.

Furthermore I for one want a definitive say by way of a referendum on any future direction, anything short of that is inappropriate and would smack of "we know best". Politicians should never be in a position to tell the public how they will be elected. That is for the people to decide! Your job is to govern our job is to decide how you get elected - remember who your masters are.

Up 17 Down 1

Didn't we already go through this nationally? on Apr 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm

It seems that this has already been debated Nationally for the first 2 years of the liberal government living up to the mandate promises and the country said No.
Google "Electoral Reform" and start reading all the way back to 2016. Nationally it seemed that people said if change to the electoral system was to happen it should be a national referendum put to all Canadians.
We may be in the Yukon but we are still part of election processes and our Yukon Government links with Federal in many of the same aspects. I feel that our Yukon Liberals are trying to do the same thing that has already been done. Town Halls and such have been done here in the Yukon with Bagnell and Monsef held them over a couple of nights back in 2016 and I recall last November we had elections boundaries commissioned and the end result of that was the liberals defeated their own bill to change the electoral boundaries. The commission that was put together to review this contained: Justice Ron Veale, and included representatives from the three parties: Parsons (Liberal), Smith (Yukon Party) and Tayler (NDP). Lori McKee, then Yukon's chief electoral officer. So with what is being put forward currently with a committee being formed it seems a little redundant as it has already been done on a national level.
The only way you will really know what the people of the Yukon want in this regard is to have a vote like BC just had about theirs and truly listen then instead of a committee that will not hear from everyone just a certain portion of people.
Definitely can tell it's an election year

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