Heard from someone the other day with who we shared e-mails strategizing on ways to block the foolishness of the proportional voting proposal in the Ontario referendum held during the 2007 provincial election. That must have been the first time we really wondered what planet Premier Dalton McGuinty was from. Our correspondent was curious as to what we thought should be done about federal electoral district redistribution in Ontario.
The honest answer was that we had put redistribution on the back burner to think about in October, before the hearings come to Babel. The problem you always face with redistribution is that the outcome is will always be unfair until there is an opportunity to change the Canadian constitution. And this is not the issue that will justify that event.
Canada has had many changes in its representation over the years that try to hone to the concept of representation by population. We fail every time because of the minimum seats required by Prince Edward Island, the sensitivities of Quebec, the continued growth of Ontario and the increasing weight of population in the west. As each commission realigns seats, we challenge the elasticity of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. That old building cannot have its walls pushed out further.
And what is the purpose of adding more members to the House of Commons when so many are there doing next to nothing now. As long as Canadians are willing to send people to Ottawa for no other reason than to support this or that political demagoguery, why bother? Why are we spending money on nebbishes?
Face it. It costs a lot of money to send someone to Ottawa. And it is far more than just the salary. It would be a delight to have someone from your district you can respect.
Here in Babel, the redistribution commissioners want to split the electoral district in two. What it would mean, in effect, is that old city would be linked to some of the townships to the north to create a district with a population of 102,361. The west and south parts of the city would then be combined with some of the rural area to the south and that would create a new district with a population of 104,730.
And anyone who lives in Babel will immediately understand the problem we always have with these commissions. They do not know Babel. The smaller northern electoral district will grow some over the next ten years but the bulk of the growth in Babel will be to the south. In the next ten years the district to the south could have a population more than 25,000 larger than the north district.
Yes, we do need to talk to the commissioners.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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