Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The Spuds have eyes.... if only

There is quite the firestorm on the island. It is the classic example of political gerrymandering. It is filthy and has no business in politics. Gerry is back. Gerrymandering, that is.

The Prince Edward Island legislature is currently debating the acceptance of a new electoral map. The issue has caused the opposition Liberals to walkout of the Legislature in protest. Premier Pat Binns is warning the Liberals are turning their back on *rural* Prince Edward Island. A low-blow if there ever was one.

The disagreement stems from the Tory government preference to ignore an independent PEI Elections Report on redistricting. The Binns government would prefer to protect their seats rather than create new seats in the cities. The claim, who will speak for the rural individual? The answer, their Member of the Legislative Assembly, who just stands a better chance of not being a Tory.

Gerrymandering should be outlawed. This type of thing is why 90% of American congressional races have already been decided in advance of November 2006. The incumbent has the boundaries so rigged it is disgusting. It is why the Conservatives have such a strong hold in Western Canada. Every effort should be made to shrink the gap between constituencies. The current disparities are a farce. If this means fewer seats in the rural areas, tough. People vote, not land, trees or potatoes.

How the hell do you gerrymander PEI? Don't all Islanders take a turn in the legislature at one point or another?
I agree gerrymandering is a big problem in politics, it is a huge problem in the US and it sounds like it is a problem in PEI. I do question however your contention that gerrymandering is the cause of the Conservative strangle hold in Western Canada. How did they gerrymander when they were out of power for 13 years? I think the cause of Conservative power in western Canada is the NDP's moving away from their agrarian roots and the divisive politics the Liberals practiced to lock up the Ontario vote in the last few elections.

But Alberta is a good province to look at for gerrymandering. Some rural ridings have over 40 per cent fewer people than city ridings, and some curious maps have been drawn up in some of the cities.
I don't blame gerrymandering for the Conservatives for winning ridings in western Canada. I am stating that there are too many seats that they win where there are far too few people.

The Canadian electoral map needs to change to reflect our actual population. More seats need to be awarded to Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and much of the GTA.

The fact that we add a few seats after each census is good, but there is a need to go further. The percentage difference between some ridings is deplorable. People vote not land.
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