Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You can take the boy out of the West...

...but you can't take the West out of the boy. I think that's evidenced by my first gut reaction to this story...

Ontario has more than doubled its estimate of the number of seats it believes it should be allocated under proposed federal legislation to expand the House of Commons.
...which was something along the lines of "dammed greedy Ontario jerks, let them freeze in the dark," even though I live here now too. I guess I'm a self-hating Ontarioin. I blame it though on that super-annoying tourism commercial they play before movies, "there's no place like this where I've been, ohhh ohhhh....." Whatever happened to "Ontari-ari-ario?"

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4 comments:

JimBobby said...

A place to stand,
A place to grow,
Ontariariario.

I reckon it oughta be danged easy t' come up with how many seats. It's simple arithmetic. If ridings ain't at least roughly the same size -- by population -- then we end up with unequal representation and unfairness.

I live in a small town. I've met Diane Finley in person a few times an' I met Bob Speller before her. I ain't a bigass club member or party member. I met them folks at various small town events. Ma went to high school with Diane.

My daughter-in-law grew up in Trawna. She never even laid eyes on her MP much less met him in person. Her ma, neither.

Not only is it easier fer us hicks to meet our MP's, our vote counts more. If we got 80,000 in hick ridings but they got 120,000 in big smoke ridings, them Trawna fellers an' gals ain't gettin' as much representation as us hicks.

I s'pose we gotta make some allowance fer the scattered folks who are havin' Nunuvit.

JB

Steve V said...

Jeff

If you do the simple math, then Ontario is completely justified. If you take the Tory proposal, with the new seat allotment, it means a voters weight has twice the impact in Alberta, than it will in Ontario. So, on substance, completely valid point, unless of course people don't respect a simple tenet of democracy.

However, I think Ontario should back off its position, because we all know that fairness is a relative term in Canada. For the good of regional representation, a certain asymmetry is fine by me.

Just one quick point about the complaining in the Quebec legislature. Someone should be frank with the seperatists, and remind them that all the uncertainty has come at a objective cost for Quebec. This economic impact affects population flow, and if Quebec is lagging, relative to others, then the seperatists can share some responsibility for the waning power in Ottawa.

ed king said...

However, I think Ontario should back off its position, because we all know that fairness is a relative term in Canada. For the good of regional representation, a certain asymmetry is fine by me.

I agree with you in principle Steve, however I still believe the government's proposal is unfair to Ontarians (not Ontario; we are talking about representation of people, not provinces, after all).

The old formula was criticized, rightly or not, for not reflecting population growth adequately. This new formula penalizes the residents of one province for no good reason other than they have the apparent misfortune of living in Ontario.

I'm all for effective regional representation, but this proposal is unfair. Unless someone can convince me that residents of Ontario are entitled to less seats than Canadians in other provinces, I believe the current formula should be kept. It's not perfect, but it does not penalize residents of a single province either.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Steve, Ed, I'm not saying Ontario doesn't have a point. I'm just saying the knee-jerk, Western, Ontario-hater in my doesn't care. :)

The sensible, fact minded person in me cares and understands, while the pragmatic realist in me understands but thinks Ontario getting that many more seats, even if numerically warranted, will never sell in the rest of Canada so they may have to suck it up a tad, unfair as it may be.