Don’t mess with the electoral system

Don't mess with the electoral system Whitehorse City Council unanimously gave third reading to the combo enumeration-census bylaw at a special council meeting on Tuesday, March 24. The bylaw passed at the speed of light, as these things go. It's still

Whitehorse City Council unanimously gave third reading to the combo enumeration-census bylaw at a special council meeting on Tuesday, March 24. The bylaw passed at the speed of light, as these things go.

It’s still not available for the public to read.

This bylaw allows for registering eligible voters in Whitehorse, in preparation for the October municipal election.

It also, weirdly, attaches a number of questions about households for information not related to residents’ eligibility to vote. This accessory to the voters’ registration exercise sets a disturbing precedent. I have been assured citizens would not be faced with this kind of intrusion during federal or territorial enumerations.

In the last months of its regime, Whitehorse council could have treated the upcoming election with the respect it deserves, and given voters’ participation its full attention.

Instead, more typically, they agreed to let the planning department attach their latest vanity project – counting people with roofs over their heads – to the more important work of registering eligible voters.

It’s impossible to figure out how anyone at the city could conclude this survey method will come up with any useful statistics. Unfortunately, the experiment also devalues the voter-enumeration exercise.

Perhaps no one should be surprised the nuances of their ill-advised approach to voter enumeration seem to have escaped council. But what a fantastic opportunity this bizarre new bylaw opens up to citizens, to send a message to city councils now, and in the future, that they won’t gain anything by tampering with any part of the voting process.

Personally, I intend to decline to be registered at the door (or participate in an unrelated survey).

Instead, I’ll be happy to be sworn in at the polls, because, contrary to how this mayor and council and administration would have it, there is nothing about the hard won right to vote that is “inconvenient.”

Marianne Darragh


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read