Friday, December 21, 2012

Labrador and other Riding Absurdities: How people in Canada's largest suburbs and cities are getting Screwed

How much your vote counts for depends not on what province you reside in (Canada's four largest provinces are grossly underrepresented) but also on whether you reside near or in a major urban center. If you live in or especially around Toronto, for example, consider yourself doubly screwed.


Oak Ridges - Markham (Ont.) 228,997

Kenora (Ont.) 55,977


Montcalm (Que.) 144,141

Roberval - Lac-Saint-Jean (Que.) 78,765


St. John's East (N.L.) 100,559

Labrador (N.L.) 26,728


Fleetwood - Port Kells (B.C.) 160,129

Kootenay - Columbia (B.C.) 88,026

There is only so much that can be done to address the largest provinces underrepresentation. However, there is no reason why an act can not be passed to insure that each riding within a province has roughly the same number of people.


Kyle H. said...

There is no reason, except for the hilarious amounts of provisions within the riding distribution formula, same dating back to 1867 or older, that ensure certain provinces get a certain quota, no matter what.

That being said, certain ridings - like Labrador and Roberval - have certain justifications to exist. It isn't all about population, its also about economic, societal, and historical links between communities. Lumping Labrador, a very distinct region from the rest of the province, doesn't make much sense. Yes, we have to tolerate a small riding, but there are tonnes of countries that have legislative bodies that allow for the representation of minorities or distinct regions that may not otherwise have representation, thanks to their small number. Even if Canada moves to a more equal population-per-riding model, there are definitely certain ridings that will need to exist despite their smaller size.

Besides, what year are you living in? Redistribution is already taking chunks out of these larger ridings. It isn't solving the problem, but it is allowing 2003 order ridings like Oak Ridges-Markham, with way too much population, to be broken up properly. Its also allowing areas like Halton, which is continually growing, to have five ridings, even though it only has enough for four. This redistribution has done a fairly good job so far, given the limits it is placed within.

Koby said...

"Redistribution is already taking chunks out of these larger ridings."

I realize the redistricting is currently under. I also realize that the job they are doing inadequate -- hence the post.

"Lumping Labrador, a very distinct region from the rest of the province, doesn't make much sense."

And lumping Powell River, Squamish, West Vancouver and Whistler into one riding does? Look, it is remarkably easy to find ridings that are far more diverse in terms of income distribution, ethnicity, age or what have you than, say, a combined Labrador St. Barbe-Baie Verte. To say that these ridings need to exist because they are somehow unique does not pass the test of a 10 min trip though Stats Canada.

At the end of the day the only possible guide for country Canada's size and diversity is what the House of Commons is supposed to be based on, viz. rep by pop.