Elections for mayor, council and school trustees are around the corner. The more I learn about elections and government, the more I feel the political process needs to radically change.
The political system at every level is held hostage by big money, partisan politics and special interest groups.
There needs to be a direct connection from the citizens to the elected official without all these special interests trying to skew the outcome of the election.
The end result would be elected officials who would be truly independent and can vote with their conscience and what is best for the citizens and their community.
I believe there is a way to make politics more democratic. It’s a simple six-step electoral reform plan that attempts to create a level playing field for all and would involve the following changes:
• Residency – A candidate would have to live in the city he or she hopes to represent for three years prior to the election.
• Nomination – A candidate would have to be nominated by 25 citizens who live in the city.
• Deposit – A candidate would pay a deposit to a private bank in exchange for a campaign loan. The loan would be capped at a legislated maximum.
• Receipts – A candidate would submit his or her campaign receipts to the bank after the election.
• Reimbursement – The elections office would reimburse banks for all official campaign expenses from official candidates up to a pre-set maximum amount, which would be the same for all candidates.
• Candidate profiles – The elections office would produce a website that would list the biographies, community experience, education, experience and qualifications of all the candidates. This would provide an unbiased source of information for voters.
This simple reform plan would essentially eliminate big money in politics. Wow, can you imagine?
Alex Sangha, Surrey