Electoral district
2 min

Some real electoral inequities

While the seat distribution bill hurtles
its way through the House of Commons, here’s some discussion on the urban-rural
riding divide
 in this country, where rural ridings are weighted more heavily
than urban ones. This, of course, is something the electoral boundaries
commissions need to address, and there are a couple of ideas as to how to legislate it (such as ensuring that the variation is only 10 to 15 percent average
population in the province, whereas right now 25 percent is allowed), but this
is a problem with the boundary system – especially with the “rurban” ridings, where
the rural voters outweigh the chunk of urban ones in the same riding, and those
rural concerns win out.

In case you were wondering, the bill to
kill the Canadian Wheat Board has now passed the Commons and is on its way to
the Senate. Oddly enough, at a press conference called by the federal
agriculture minister featuring his prairie counterparts, the minister from
Manitoba wasn’t invited.

The government won’t say whether or not it's making the symbolic move of pulling out of our Kyoto Protocol
commitments.

Our withdrawal from Kandahar province in
Afghanistan is being complicated by closed borders into Pakistan (where there
are supply lines and ports).

Groups are calling for Canada to prosecute suspected war criminals rather than simply deport them – especially if they are unlikely
to face charges for said suspected war crimes in their home countries.
Otherwise, it could be argued, our commitment to human rights seems pretty weak
if we’re not prepared to do something about actual abuses when no one else will.

In NDP leadership news, Brian Topp talks increasing taxes for those who make more than $250,000 a year. Over in the Chronicle Herald, Paul McLeod talks to
Robert Chisholm about his campaign and the drunk-driving conviction
that derailed Chisholm’s provincial election in 1999.

Over in the Liberal camp, Bob Rae tells the
troops to keep their eyes on the ball and not to restart the internecine
fighting.

Here is an accounting of the
“snow-shovelling tax credit” email prank.

Dear political scientists: there is nothing
wrong with prorogation itself. The problem comes when prime ministers use it to
avoid confidence votes. Please stop conflating the issue in your bid for reform
for reform’s sake.

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