Friday, March 30, 2007

An Agenda for Cities: More Seats





Unless the Liberals do something drastic, the Conservatives will win a majority. The Liberals are retreating on every front. Dion is proving to be an unmediated disaster and the second coming of John Kerry. The Liberals only hope for holding Harper to a minority is to try to fortify their base of support in Canada’s major cities and in the Maritimes.

In order to do the former the Liberals need to do more than promise cities more money. For one, the Liberals need to offer them more power in the form of more seats. One of the reasons why the party is in such a desperate state is that Canada’s major cities are grossly unrepresented and its rural areas grossly over represented. Promise to solve the democratic deficit and I do not mean by promising to add a few more seats here and there. I mean somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred and fifty plus. Where would the funds come from? Propose abolishing the senate – if only in a piece meal fashion.

3 comments:

Wild Rose Grit said...

If you think that is bad, look at the Alberta Legislature.

Up until 1993, significant number of ridings in Calgary and Edmonton would voted Liberal and NDP (provincial politics is very different from Federal Politics). In 1992, Klein rearranged the seats to prevent a Liberal Victory (ref 1993, provincial election).

Edmonton and Calgary lost quite a few seats in 1992.

The average Urban Riding requires 39,000 people to receive a seat. The average rural riding requires 30,000.

Calgary has 22 seats
Edmonton has 18 seats

Total Seats: 40/83. So 80 percent of the population is repersented by 48 percent of the MLAs.

Then the riding's in Suburban Calgary and Suburban Edmonton, tend to bleed into Rural Communities. Take my riding, Calgary McCall: Calgary ends at about Coventry Hills Blvd; yet the riding extends to range road 270. We lost this riding by 372 votes.

Mushroom said...

Koby,

It's me again. Calling Dion a disaster is a bit strong. But it's your opinion that is not shared by a majority of the Libloggers.

Abolition of the Senate is something I will support. A minority view and most likely unpopular given the numbers of Trudeau and Chretien appointees still there.

I believe in more seats through proportional representation. Scott Tribe, Greg Morrow of democraticSPACE, and Idealistic Pragmatist are also keen supporters of it that have blogged about this quite frequently.

Koby said...

>>>> "Total Seats: 40/83. So 80 percent of the population is repersented by 48 percent of the MLAs."

God, I knew things were bad. I just not realize how bad. Thanks

>>>>> It's me again. Calling Dion a disaster is a bit strong. But it's your opinion that is not shared by a majority of the Libloggers.

I think Dion would make a good PM. I like him a lot more than Martin. However, it is time to admit the obvious. The Conservatives are beating the Dion Liberals like a bunch of circus monkeys.

>>>> “Abolition of the Senate is something I will support. A minority view and most likely unpopular given the numbers of Trudeau and Chretien appointees still there.”

Being unable to “reform” the Senate in one fell swoop, Harper has proposed electing effective Senators piece meal. In the long term, the effect of such a process would be to transform an unelected political body with no power into a largely unelected political body with real political power. In the short term, it would commit Canadians to the farcical and expensive act of electing people to office who hold no real power. If that was bad enough it would give provinces, such as Novo Scotia, power way out of proportion to their actual population.

The Liberals should follow Harper’s lead in not appointing any new senators. However, instead of holding senate elections the Liberals should let those vacancies go wanting and in its place commit themselves adding more MPs.

>>>>>> ”I believe in more seats through proportional representation. Scott Tribe, Greg Morrow of democraticSPACE, and Idealistic Pragmatist are also keen supporters of it that have blogged about this quite frequently.”

I am certainly open to the idea of proportional rep. However, I doubt the Liberal brass would be open to such a suggestion. I see this is the next best option.