With our parliamentarians having returned to
I won’t rehash all the background – long story short, representation in the lower house is supposed to be by population, but population shifts across the country over the years mean the current house isn’t truly representative of today’s Canada. Suburban/urban areas in
The Conservatives have had a proposal on the table for several years to add 30 seats (five in
Why? That’s the heart of the issue: it’s all about
It’s called the Senate
I strongly disagree with this. Representation in the House of Commons should be by population, period. Giving one region unequal weighting would mean taking representation from another region; that’s unfair and that’s not the purpose of the lower chamber.
Do I agree that
And we already have a body designed to provide (in theory) that regional check: It’s called the Senate. The lower house is intended as the representative house; the upper the regional check.
Now the Senate is in need of reform and redistribution as well. But if you want to build a truly effective and representative parliamentary democracy, gerrymandering commons representation isn’t the answer. Reform the Senate so it is fairly distributed along regional lines, with elected Senators who have a clear mandate and set of powers and responsibilities.
About those Commons seats
Now, I won’t hold my breath for any of the political parties to start advocating comprehensive and meaningful Senate reform. And sorry, what the Conservatives have been doing here has been hurting, not helping.
I’d be more hopeful of someone taking a logical position on Commons representation though. Sadly, no such luck so far.
There’s some hope in the Conservative position. It could go further, but it’s a step in the right direction. While they’ve disavowed special considerations for
My Liberals have been hard to pin down. Before the election they helped to delay the proposal, and splits were evident between their
(Rae) predicted that the prime minister will come up with a compromise on the seat legislation bill to deal with
's concerns. Quebec
"I don't think you can take
Quebecfor granted, and I think the prime minister's going to have to look again at the question of the number of seats. It doesn't mean B.C., Quebec Albertaand won't get more seats - of course we will." Ontario
OK, so he wants special dispensation for
Rae wouldn't say whether or not he supports the position of many
nationalists that the province should be guaranteed 25 per cent of the seats. Quebec
So compromise if necessary, but not necessarily that compromise? OK, but what then? After all, this is about national unity, somehow.
With their new large
(Brian Topp) giving extra seats to
Quebecwould be a way to recognize its status as a nation within . Canada
"I think we need to find an appropriate Canadian compromise," he said at a news conference announcing his candidacy.
The NDP has argued that
should be guaranteed to maintain its current share of the seats. That would require the 338-seat Commons to be swollen further by boosting Quebec 's allotment to 82 or 83 seats, from the current 75. Quebec
Earlier Monday, Mulcair told reporters that such a move is consistent with the 2006 "nation" motion and the 1991 Supreme Court of
"It would be an irony to say that Quebec constitutes — the Quebecois constitute — a nation within Canada and then the first thing you do is you reduce the . . . weight of Quebecers within the House of Commons."
Nation reflux disease
There is a certain irony that many of the arguments being made come back to the