Thursday, April 01, 2010

Parliament Rebalancing: Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia Gains

April Fools Joke or Check Mate?
Legislation to rebalance the House of Commons by giving Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia more seats is expected today, setting off a political debate pitting urban against rural and large against small.
The legislation would rebalance the House of Commons to better enshrine the principle of “representation by population,” or “one person, one vote.”
The House would be adjusted so that the three fastest-growing provinces in Canada would have the number of seats that their numbers warrant. Depending on the formula, the House could grow by 30 seats or more from its current level of 308 - John Ibbitson , Globe and Mail
Source: Wiki
Six metropolitan areas now claim more than a million residents. Calgary and Edmonton joined Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa-Gatineau in the “millionaire's club”, which now houses 45 per cent of the Canadians.
Barrie, north of Toronto, was the fastest growing census metropolitan area, notching up a 19.2 per cent population rise to 177,061 for the census region, and a 24 per cent rise for the city itself.

It joins five other metropolitan areas on the densely populated shores of the Great Lakes — known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe — on the list of fastest growing metro areas: Oshawa, Toronto, Kitchener, Guelph and Brantford are all in the nation's top 15.

Eight mid-size urban centres had a growth rate of more than 10 per cent, about twice as high as the rate for Canada as a whole. Seven of the eight were in Alberta. TENILLE BONOGUORE Globe and Mail

Today we are faced with a political party that has dropped from 40% of the percentage of vote to 26.3% in eight years. The trend and direction of the slide in "official" Polls have been steady and only negative.
Since 2000 the Liberals have had Jean Chretien, Paul Martin, Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff lead the party. Paul Martin left the party after losing power to CPC led by Stephen Harper.
Stephen Harper has led a minority government since 2006 when the Liberals hit 30.3%. In October 2008 the CPC won another minority government with the Liberals hitting a historic low of 26.3%.
November 2009, the Liberals are now "unofficially" back to their historic lows after some unofficial polls this summer showing a four percent gain from the October 2008 results. A very small group in Ottawa and the MSM believe the Liberals are a serious threat and present articles in their defence on a regular basis. The official opposition has not been able to stop the gradual erosion of support since 2000. Today the Liberal Party has been weakened from presenting any serious or substantive issues prior to five days before an "official" campaign. -Canadiansense  Forrest Gump Politics Scene 2000-2008

The tactical decisions of the government toward next election can be seen in a bid to hamstring their opponents
  • reintroduction of a removal of the political party subsidy
  • Economy, Jobs, Deficit, Pensions, Free Trade Deals
  • Rebalance of seats to boost Ontario -West
  • Own the middle, right of centre fertile spectrum of voters

What political parties stand to benefit the most by adding seats to the fastest growing cities in those three provinces? Will the Liberals join the Bloc in blocking the legislation and risk the wrath of voters in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia?
This rebalancing will weaken the ability of the Bloc in Quebec for more equalization, transfers and accurately reflect the redistribution of population, wealth and power in Canada. The Bloc, Quebec will resist this rebalancing, will the NDP and Liberals join the Bloc in defending the power remains with Ontario-Quebec?

Ignatieff (Liberal GPS) has veered again after the left votes by adopting the NDP freeze "corporate taxes" in Montreal. The disconnect, Canadians don't trust the Liberals on many major files including the deficit, economy and negotiating Free Trade Deals.

The Liberals can't run from their track record of balancing the books in raiding the EI fund $ 60 Billion, a $ 25 Billion cut in transfers to the provinces in Health, Education and Social Services.

In December 2008 Canadian Premiers, Federal Government joined the G8, G20 in the largest deficit spending programs to combat the Global Recession. Those relationships continue to negotiate and get things done.

The Liberals will promise to not download to the provinces again, not raid the EI fund,  or raise taxes to pay for more "social justice" projects.
Who do you trust ?

UPDATE: Seat breakdown rationale:


1997 Census 10,084,885 103 ridings (97,911)

2009 Census 12,160,282 106 ridings (114,719)

Quebec (No extra seats that I am aware)

1997 Census 6,895,963 * 75 ridings (91,946)

2009 Census 7,546,131 * 75 ridings (100,615)


1997 2,545,553  * 26 ridings (97,905)

2009 3,290,350 * 28 ridings (117,512)


1997 3,282,061 * 34 ridings (96,531)

2009 4,113,487 * 36 ridings (114,263)

UPDATE 2:   Weblinks and more rationale behind reform.

“Our government is following through with its Throne Speech commitment to restoring the principle of representation by population in the House of Commons,” said Minister of State Fletcher. “If passed, this legislation will give fair representation to the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, while protecting the seat counts of the other provinces “ - Democratic Reform

Quebec holds 75 seats in Parliament total 308. It accounts for 24% of the seats. The changes will reflect a growth in provinces where immigration from outside and other provinces has resulted in an under represented population. 233/308 excluding Quebec account for 75% of the seats.

The additional 30 seats will change the math in rebalancing to measure the population changes.
233+30 =263 for a Parliament of 338
Rest of Canada will grow to 78% and Quebec will shrink to 22%.

Is Quebec growing as fast as the other regions of Canada or predicted to grow faster than Ontario, British Columbia or Albera? No
Canada's population was estimated at 33,930,800 as of January 1, 2010, an increase of 57,500 or 0.17% from the level at October 1, 2009. Population growth remains fastest in Western Canada, with all provinces in the region recording percentage increases above the national level.
British Columbia's population rose by 14,300, or 0.32%, to just over 4,494,200. It was the second consecutive quarter in which the province recorded the fastest population increase among the provinces.
The increase was due mainly to a net inflow of about 9,000 people from international migration, the largest in the nation. At 2,300, British Columbia also posted the largest net inflow from interprovincial migration in the country. Alberta is 0.21%.  - The Daily

Will we allow a separtist's party dictate democratic reform for our Federal Government?

It is time for the residents of Quebec to reject this party of division for a stronger united Canada. Will the NDP, Liberals join with the separtists' party in delaying democratic reform of our parliament?


The_Iceman said...

If you take total number of seats in a province and divide it by total number of votes (for all parties), then you get:

BC 49,782
Ontario 48,539
Quebec 48,271
Alberta 45,331
New Brunswick 36,799
Manitoba 33,337
Saskatchewan 29,917
Newfoundland 27,913
Nova Scotia 25,595
PEI 18,547
Arctic 12,001

There were more total votes per riding in Quebec in 2008 than in Alberta. This of course does not account for population, but rather the people who actually registered a vote in the last election. Ironically, the part of Quebec that is the most "vote crowded" is Quebec City, where the Tories enjoy significant support.

The_Iceman said...

If they add the new 28 seats as proposed today the new voterss per riding numbers would be:

Quebec 48,271
BC 41,677
Ontario 41,435
Alberta 38,462

They can't just add seats to Ontario and Alberta without adding seats to Quebec. The region with too many seats per capita is Atlantic Canada, not Quebec.

CanadianSense said...

The numbers I have read were 7 AB, 8 BC, 23 Ontario.

I have not heard about "growth" in Quebec.

Do you have a link to Quebec's surge in population including a trend?

Part of this I suspect is looking at the trends and prediction for the future. The east has the biggest problem in the demographics "timebomb".

The_Iceman said...

The numbers do work out better on a population basis, but it's interesting 46% of Quebecers voted in 2008. 34% of Albertans voted in 2008. My numbers were just counting the votes, and I had not anticipated such a disparity in voter participation among provinces.

The population of Quebec has grown 3% since 2005 and Ontario has grown 4%. If growth is the basis of the argument, then Ontario getting 18 seats to Quebec's 0 is not equitable.

CanadianSense said...

I have not examined total growth in population by province. The stats folks in Ottawa may be looking at certain ridings in each province and have found over the last decade x ridings can be cut in half to get is closer to 100k per riding.
I will try to find some more information on the logistics and rationale from the articles I read a few months ago.

Ontario complained the last time this was introduced because Ontarion was not going to get enough seats.

It could be as simple as simply dividing 3 ridings in AB, 4 ridings in BC and 10 in Ontario to reflect the population shifts.

I don't know if Quebec has the same growth per city. The article listed Montreal as the only city growing from Quebec.

CanadianSense said...

Posted update for rationale for AB, ONT, BC seats in blog.

CanadianSense said...

A poll done on early feedback