Friday, December 3, 2010

Why the surprise?

According to this John Ibbitson piece in the Globe and Mail, the Cons, Libs, and NDP have quietly agreed to scrap Bill C-12. The proposed legislation would have increased the number of seats in the House from 308 to 338 and gone some ways towards rebalancing the provincial distribution based on current populations.

The Harper government and the opposition parties have agreed to quietly sink legislation that would have given Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta more seats in the House of Commons. As a result, urban and visible-minority voters will continue to be discriminated against in Parliament.

When any provinces (in this case BC, Alberta, and Ontario) gain more representation then, by definition, the other provinces lose relative power. So facing outrage from Quebec and strong pushback from the Maritimes, our honourable members caved.

Is this a triumph of cowardice over principle? Or simply a matter of political expediency? Both I would suggest. While the NDP don’t really stand much of a chance in Quebec, both the Libs and the Cons are looking to make some solid gains there come next election, and the last thing they want is to have a bunch of Bloc-heads trotting out the “humiliation” card.


kirbycairo said...

When this all started the Cons thought they were set to gain by this increase in seats but they now realize with their complete failure in Quebec that though they may have gained in the West, they were set for a net loss in the short term. So it goes.

WesternGrit said...

Electoral issues like this should be decided by citizens' panels, with recommendations going to Parliament for "rubber stamping". In that way party line won't get in the way of the needs of individual MPs/ridings. I'm sure BC MPs would love the extra seats in the House (as would Ontario MPs)...