North

Yukon to form commission to study electoral reform

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says an independent, non-partisan commission will be appointed this spring to study electoral reform in the territory, following a public survey last fall on the issue.

Premier says independant, non-partisan commission to be appointed later this spring

A public call for commission members is expected to go out before the end of the month. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says an independent, non-partisan commission will be appointed later this spring to study electoral reform in the territory, following a public survey last fall on the issue.

Silver was pressed in the legislature this week on when the commission would be formed, and when the results of the survey would be released.

NDP Leader Liz Hanson said the survey closed over three months ago and the report on the results have not been made public. Hanson also reminded Silver the commission was part of the Liberals' 2016 election platform.

"There were questions asking Yukoners what a commission should do to ensure that there are meaningful conversations about our current electoral system, and what changes a commission should consider," she said.

Survey respondents were asked whether they agree with various statements such as, "I believe the commission should identify the strongest electoral system for territorial elections", and "elected representatives reflect the diversity of the Yukon," and "political fundraising and spending is fair and transparent."

'We had conflicting views as to whether or not we should even do any changes,' said Premier Sandy Silver, of the public survey done last fall on the question of electoral reform. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

Although the results are not available, Silver, speaking to reporters, hinted at what the survey found.

"We had conflicting views as to whether or not we should even do any changes. We had about as many people saying we should do no change, as many as people saying we should do change," Silver said.

"It's a lot of information. It's very in-depth." 

Silver said the survey results will be made public after the commission is appointed to avoid backlash from the opposition.

"Any actions we do right now will be criticized by saying we're prescriptive, or that we're trying to hedge it in a certain way. We want to do this right, and we want to make the decisions correctly," Silver said.

Silver said Thursday he planned to meet with Yukon Party Leader Stacey Hassard and Hanson later that day to discuss pre-planning the commission.

Then a public call for commission members will happen before the end of the month, he said.

Silver said people won't be chosen if they've publicly supported specific changes to the electoral system.

"If you come in with predetermined notions about this, then that's not someone who we're looking for."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.