I hate to site an article found in the National Post and say it is bang on but it is.
Lorne Gunter in his article “Canada needs to move toward a fairer parliament”, states that “Canada has one of the most unbalanced parliaments in the Western world”.
But I am going to twist Gunter’s article a bit and say Regional politics have created a system that favours the CPC. The solution proposed, adding a total of 30 new seats to the House of Commons for Ontario (18 more), B.C. (seven) and Alberta (five) will help redress the disparity but is not a solution as this simply adds seats to the provinces which the Tories already have strong support in. A redress of the Mulroney seat-calculation formula is what is needed. As Gunter points out “The nearer a province comes to having 112,000 residents per riding, the nearer it is to being properly represented in Ottawa.” The great thing about this is that, the one province that is bringing balance to Canadian politics in this current session of parliament is the one that comes closest to that formula. Only Quebec, has 111,000 residents per riding. This gives each vote in Quebec a value of 1.01. Which is close to the optimum representative number of 1. This is very contrary to the commonly held misconception that Quebec is pandered to. The truth is they are actually properly represented and this likely gets them more of what they ask for. Rather than whining about Quebec we need to whine about equality in representation, then we will have our needs met.
Prince Edward Island, each vote is worth 2.88, (over represented)
B.C.,each vote is worth 0.9 (under Represented)
Saskatchewan, each vote is worth 1.39, (over represented)
Ontario each vote is worth 0.91 (under Represented)
Alberta each vote is worth 0.92 (under Represented)
Gunter is partially right in his conclusion that “it’s clear that they [the Tories] are adding seats for the good of our democratic equality, not their own electoral hopes” but are they would it not be but to make the calculations agree with the optimum representative number of 1? Also we should look at it this way, who’s error are we correcting? Brian Mulroney played more games with the truth than those he played with Airbus, and the CPC knows it, but righting the calculation to a optimum representative number of 1 would not keep their rural support happy. While the popular vote would be for a more equitable spread of votes, the perception in rural areas would reduce the votes for the CPC in many rural areas. The CPC knows that they need to buy votes in Urban areas this slight alteration of the formula is a bit of cheese to entice the lemmings. Politics is a dirty game of chess but while we may not like Harper’s government on this part of the game they are better than the Mulroney government was.