The Speaker's Forum on the Role of Members was established by the Honourable Darryl Plecas, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, in December 2017. The purpose of the Forum is to bring in a variety of participants with different backgrounds to provide input on how the roles of MLAs can be enhanced in our parliamentary system. The Forum will adopt a non-partisan framework to explore how Members may empower themselves to be more effective representatives of their communities, and how political culture and dynamics may affect Members' parliamentary responsibilities and their representative role. Discussions on how to provide MLAs with a strengthened voice to represent their constituents and thereby enhance public perception of the role of parliamentarians will also be at the forefront of the Forum.
In its first year, the Forum will feature a series of various roundtable discussions. This phase will provide the opportunity for those involved to discuss and identify, from their perspective, the challenges that Members face in the current political environment. Forum roundtables will be held with academics and political scientists, media, educators, youth, former MLAs, and parliamentary officials, amongst others. Themes and findings emerging during earlier sessions will assist in shaping discussion topics in subsequent sessions. Roundtable discussions will not focus on topics of electoral reform, alternate electoral systems, or partisan issues of any kind.
A summary of the findings of each of the roundtable groups will be produced, which will highlight the key themes that have been identified during the Forum's first phase. These findings will be summarized and shared with other Forum participants, and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly will also share them with Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
In its final stages, the Forum will feature the publication and consideration of a final report, which is intended to foster a more broad discussion on its findings. It is hoped that the report will lead to consideration of potential Member-driven reforms at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The findings of the Speaker's Forum may also be useful to other parliaments around the world to help identify best practices in enhancing Members' roles.