Have you heard about this? During the month of May a lot of things have changed locally regarding the upcoming October Municipal Elections. It started on May 7th with the document formally known as Town of Princeton Election Procedures Bylaw, Bylaw No. 948, 2018. It was at that regular meeting of Town Council when the Bylaw received First, Second and Third readings. The document was adopted at the following regular meeting of Town Council on May 22.
The gist of the Bylaw is this:
The minimum number of nominators for any local election candidate has been changed from two to ten. There is also a Nomination deposit required of $100. This was never the case in previous elections.
Why Is This Happening?
According to the report submitted to Town Council supporting Bylaw 948, 2018, the reasoning for the increase in the minimum number of nominators was as follows:
“Given the responsibilities, requirements and importance that is required of members of Council, as well as, the significant amount of Administration time and costs incurred to the Town of Princeton to organize elections, setting the number of minimum nominators to ten (10) is reasonable.”
As for the new Nomination deposit, the report states:
“Nomination deposits were not a requirement in prior election bylaws. However, nomination deposits serve a purpose. When signing the declaration included in the nomination form, the candidate is responsible to abide by legislation pertaining to the election. Nomination deposits are returned to non-elected candidates and to successful candidates that have filed their campaign financing disclosure statements. Successful candidates that neglect to file the campaign financing disclosure statements prior to the legislative deadline forfeit their nomination deposit.”
Before You Start To Rant
Why on Earth would the Town of Princeton make such changes in election procedures so soon before the next Municipal Election? Well, there is an easy answer for that. The changes are part of Section 56 (Election Bylaws) of the Local Government Act – a document that governs how elections are to be conducted throughout the Province of British Columbia. The part regarding Nomination of Candidates is actually Section 86 and the part that explains Nomination Deposits is Section 88. So, in other words, the Town is just bringing their procedures in line with the provincial standard.
How This Affects My Election Bid
Actually, I have no problem with the changes whatsoever. During discussion on the Bylaw adoption during the May 22 Princeton Town Council meeting one Councillor stated that a minimum of ten sounded steep and suggested it would be more manageable if it were set at six. Another Councillor pointed out that if a Candidate is serious about seeking a seat on Town Council, ten signatures on Nomination documents should be easy to achieve.
I have to agree with that final statement.
In my mind, setting the local election standards to meet those at the provincial level make the entire process a tad more legitimate. I’m not saying elections here have not been in the past, but I do feel that having a higher nominator tally and a deposit will eliminate some candidates running in elections in communities where maybe their intentions are not quite the same as other candidates. In other words, it evens the playing field somewhat at the first part of the election process and I am most certainly glad to see this new bylaw adopted.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly community newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.