Community consultation on federal electoral reform is expected to pick up pace starting next week, leading up to a town hall discussion in Kamloops on Monday, Sept. 12.
Murray Todd, a former federal Liberal candidate, said the local initiative began as a casual discussion between friends on Canada Day. Since then, the grassroots group has set up a booth at the Saturday Farmers Market, though Todd acknowledged there are many distractions in midsummer.
The group intends to continue reaching out to the public at the farmers market on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3. Considering the need to encourage greater voter participation among youth, they also plan to be on campus when the fall semester begins in September.
They’ve had a mix of responses so far.
“Some people are really engaged; they’ve got a clear take as to what they want,” he said. “Other people, as they saw us at the market, would do a double clutch as they walked by.”
The plan is to have a report summarizing local input to MP Cathy McLeod by Oct. 1 so that it can be passed on by mid-October to the House of Commons special committee overseeing electoral reform. The committee has been mandated to make recommendations by mid-December.
The Conservative Opposition maintains that any change to the electoral system should require a national referendum.