IntegrityBC: Survey found British Columbians are opposed to having kids vote in party leadership races

(August 25th, 2011, Victoria BC)- IntegrityBC has released an online survey on the rules surrounding party leadership races which included asking whether children get a vote when it comes to choosing the premier of the province, the leader of the official opposition or a third-party leader?

The answer: 72 per cent said no.

Currently, both the BC Liberals and NDP allow membership starting at age 14 and 12 respectively and accord the right to vote to all members in good standing, including children.

“While the survey itself was unscientific and is not accurate 19 times out of 20, the overwhelming response to this question and others posed should send a clear message to BC’s political parties that the way they elect leaders today fails the litmus test,” said Aisha Vance, spokesperson for IntegrityBC.

In May, the Vancouver Sun reported that hundreds of individuals residing in Surrey held dual memberships in both the BC Liberals and NDP while the two parties were holding leadership races.

In light of this report, IntegrityBC asked if there should be legal penalties for individuals who hold memberships in more than one party? Sixty per cent said yes and 78 per cent said the party should require a formal letter of resignation from members.

Ninety-six per cent of respondents felt that in order for parties to have transparent membership rolls that they should require individuals to show government issued identification when they apply for membership in a political party.

The survey also showed that respondents believed parties should be required to provide a list of their membership annually to the Chief Electoral Officer for verification to protect against dual memberships.

“If parties put rules such as these in place, IntegrityBC believes there would be fewer loopholes to exploit and provincial politics would be all the better for it,” said Vance.