Toronto mayor argues citizenship not a requirement to vote

Post by Erin Chutter in

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Mayor David Miller says being a citizen shouldn't be a requirement to vote in municipal elections

Just to reinforce that stupid ideas can be generated by any level of government, and that Vancouver’s David Cadman isn’t the only municipal official in Canada with a loose grasp of jurisdictional responsibility, news broke yesterday that Toronto’s Mayor, David Miller, would really, really like to see people who reside in his city have a civic vote, regardless of citizenship.

His quote in the National Post went like this: “It’s my view, that those people who have chosen to make Toronto their home and live here permanently should have the right to vote in municipal elections in exactly the same way as Canadian citizens.”

I guess if you think that citizenship isn’t worth striving for and that it is discriminatory to make someone “have” to apply for citizenship, he might have a point.

But most of us (I hope) believe there is something special about being a member in the Canadian club. There are intangible and tangible benefits to being Canadian. Voting just happens to be one that most folks can readily identify.

Let’s not make any sweeping statements about falling municipal voting rates in Toronto or the political gain that can be secured by bringing scores of new voters onto the rolls. I’m sure Miller’s intent has no political underpinnings whatsoever.

But let’s try to keep some things sacred and not completely devalue Canadian citizenship.

1 Comment

On a practical note. I lived in The Netherlands for four years. It took that long to learn the language and learn about the political and social systems and I had all the advantages including 1 1/2 years full time Dutch schooling. They require 5 years residency to vote in municipal elections. Commitment to a country must be based on more than a mailing address. Sorry Mayor, this is another issue you are out to lunch on!

P.S. Miller has learned from the Liberals that given the carrot the ethnic vote is loyal and dependable.

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