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Letter: Few would be happy with a five-way split

Dieter Dudy, Ray Dhaliwal, Reid Hamer-Jackson, Sadie Hunter and Arjun Singh have announced their bids for mayor


I read with interest Chris Foulds’ musings about the upcoming mayoral race (‘FOULDS: An electric civic election shaping up in Kamloops,’ July 5).

I couldn’t help but notice that, with five candidates in the race, it’s theoretically possible for one of the candidates to win with just more than 20 per cent of voter support. We could easily end up with a mayor that most voters do not want, due to vote-splitting.

This mayoral contest once again highlights the inadequacies of our current winner-take-all electoral system. Mayoral contests should ensure the majority of voters get a mayor we can support.

There is a very simple fix for this: we could simply allow voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference (using 1, 2, 3 instead of a single X). This system of ranked ballots is considered a best practice for single-position elections like mayors. In fact, most political parties already use some form of it for party leadership contests.

Sadly, outdated provincial legislation means we are stuck with an inadequate way of electing our new mayor. Please join me in urging our province to update the legislation on municipal elections to allow municipalities to choose the voting systems that work best for their residents.

Gisela Ruckert