Elizabeth May speaks in Campbell River last year during the election campaign. May is returning to Campbell River Sept. 15 to hold a Town Hall.

Elizabeth May to hold Town Hall in Campbell River

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is coming to Campbell River

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is coming to Campbell River.

May will be holding a Town Hall on electoral reform and making sure every vote counts while in Campbell River on Thursday, Sept. 15.

May will be joined by guest Megan Dias.

“In town after town, we heard an overwhelming call from Canadians for proportional representation,” May said. “In my own riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands, a survey sent to every home registered 82.4 per cent in support of getting rid of our winner-take-all system in favour of some form of proportional representation. It’s time to ensure that every vote counts.”

In addition to being the leader of the Green Party of Canada, May is the Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands and a Member of the Canadian House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform.

May said she is looking forward to sharing her experiences on this Special Committee with the attendees at the Town Hall event.

May is also clear about the potential impact of electoral reform.

“On average, countries with some form of proportional representation have sever per cent higher voter turnout than those voting with first-past-the-post or ranked ballots, i.e. ‘majoritarian’ voting systems.”

Dias, a Masters candidate in political science at the University of British Columbia, studies political behaviour, and Canadian and American politics broadly. With the Centre for Democratic Institutions at UBC, Dias has researched electoral systems and reform from a comparative perspective, and has examined how this might play out in Canada.

“Traditionally marginalized groups have a lot to gain from electoral reform. There tend to be more women and ethnic minorities elected under proportional systems than in winner-take-all systems. A proportional system could also increase the involvement of millennial voters,” Dias said.

The Town Hall takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Museum at Campbell River. A summary of the discussion at the Town Hall will be submitted to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform for use in its deliberations. The upcoming Town Hall is being billed as an opportunity for attendees to have a voice and participate in the process towards a better, and more representative, voting system in Canada.