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Kamloops group wants your thoughts on electoral reform

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August 08, 2016 - 11:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - A local group wants to get into the discussion on reforming Canada's electoral system.

Murray Todd is leading the group which will collect opinions from people living in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding about electoral reform. The aim is for a non-partisan submission to the federal committee on electoral reform and to the area’s current MP Cathy McLeod.

“We’re talking changing a system, not policy,” Todd says. “We want to hear from everybody.”

The group had its first meeting last week and Todd, a former local federal Liberal candidate, says there were people from the New Democratic Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Party in attendance. In the future he’d like the group to include members of the Conservative Party and people who haven't voted in the past.

A meeting is scheduled today, Aug. 8, with unaffiliated people interested in the voting process. While plans are still being made to reach more people, a townhall is being set up for Sept. 12 so the group can hear from a large number of people before making it's submission by Oct. 1.

“We have to work out a format of how we want to reach people,” he says. “It’s difficult to get ahold of everybody.”

The large geographic size of the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding poses a bit of a problem, Todd says, but it's worth the effort.

“This isn’t about political voters, it’s about Canadian voters talking to the Canadian government as an institution,” he says. “People under 40 don’t vote and we have to come up with a system which will include that.”

The federal government created a special committee for electoral reform this summer after Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party promised changes during the 2015 election campaign.

Kamloops' Conservative MP McLeod has spoken out against the committee method for electoral reform and would rather see a referendum, according to a media release. She's also collecting opions on electoral reform from people in the riding via a mail-out survey.

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