EDITORIAL: Referendum offers choice to Lantzville voters

The District of Lantzville is on the cusp of allowing the electorate decide how much representation they want at the council table.

Lantzville council took the first step toward a referendum on Monday, voting to move foward with a bylaw that could reduce the size of council from seven to five. There is still a chance council could nix the bylaw and leave the issue dead in the water, but allowing referendum to happen would be the right move.

It could also be the ticket to inspiring more people to get engaged.

The number of councillors Lantzville has is decided by the province’s Community Charter, so while the community is the size of a town that only requires five representatives, its designation as a district requires seven.

A referendum would give people the chance to decide for themselves how many politicians a community of 3,600 needs and whether they are prepared to spend the money to keep their representatives.

Putting the power to decide in the hands of residents could give people another reason to head to the polls this year. And if the bid to reduce council’s size is successful, perhaps voters will make a greater effort to return to the ballot box in the future.

There is concern from referendum opponents that the district would lose broad representation and the ability to make good decision with a smaller council. But, as resident Hans Larsen said, good representation doesn’t have a number attached to it.

Lantzville isn’t going to see better decisions or more progress just because of council’s size. It is the quality of those who sit at the table that matter.

Perhaps by reducing the number of people representing the community, voters will be encouraged to choose who they elect.

Give people a chance to steer their own political future.

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