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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for October 27th, 2011

New federal seats for BC are not nearly enough!

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Post Media news decides to work itself up into a froth over how much this will cost. That way the most significant part of the story can be buried in the tables at the bottom. Making parliament bigger is costly – but it is a lot easier than simply trying to make the current distribution of seats fairer. Let us concentrate on that word “fair”. Indeed the government is trying to convince us that is new arrangement is  “fair”. In fact the Fair Representation Act is anything but.

Quebec: Will have 78 seats representing 23.28 per cent of seats in Commons with 23.22 per cent of population. Under current seat distribution, it has 75 seats or 23.28 per cent of seats in the Commons.

So currently, in terms of representation by population they are doing OK – but under the “Fair” act they will do rather better.

British Columbia: Will have 42 seats and 12.54 per cent per cent of seats in Commons with 13.31 per cent of population. Under current seat distribution, it has 36 seats or 11.8 per cent of seats in the Commons.

Look at those numbers. The current situation is clearly unfair: under the proposed arrangement is still unfair – just not quite so bad as now. There can be no justification for this.

I could get equally annoyed about PEI – but what would be the point of that?

We also, of course, being an overwhelmingly urban population should also be incensed that rural votes still count for much more than urban votes. The actual seat distribution within provinces is not yet determined – there are going to be independent commissions. Which I am willing to bet will find all sorts of implausible excuses as to why this injustice has to be continued.  The fact that some people decide to live in sparsely populated areas does not give them any greater rights to determine who should form the government – nor should it.

And this is not the time to argue for a better electoral system – though tinkering with this one is not the answer either. I am still baffled about what a country that is supposedly in favour of democracy remains steadfast in its opposition to becoming democractic in reality. The outcome of course is continuing growth of what is termed “apathy” but in fact is widespread distrust and distaste. Which is really sad given how hard some other countries are now fighting – with our assistance – to get some form of democracy established.

And, of course, to get elected Mayor here, one of the candidates is already announcing her highest priority is to get rid of a rather obvious manifestation of discontent with our current system. Just what I would expect from those who conceive of the status quo as the best of all possible worlds – for themselves and their paymasters.


Written by Stephen Rees

October 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

Posted in politics