Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Businesses ask for voting rights

The business lobby is pushing for voting rights in municipal elections. Like many controversial issues, there are arguments for and against both sides.

My initial reaction is that if they get voting rights then everyone with an economic interest in a given municipality should also receive a vote. As an example, I live in Saanich but work in Victoria. So, I should get to vote in Victoria's elections, right?

Regardless of the various positions one can take on this issue, one has the sense that the "business vote" could be largely addressed through amalgamation. Many small business owners have shops in downtown Victoria and yet live in Oak Bay or Saanich. If the region was amalgamated, those owners would get to vote for or against the elected officials who set the property tax rates for downtown businesses.

What do you think?

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