Politics from North of the 49th Parallel

Does the Bloc really hold Québec's interests above it's own?

Is the Conservative Party serious about ending western alienation?

Will either party keep their promise to keep their promises?

If the Bloquistes and the Tories have any intention of doing so, they can make it clear by supporting a single issue: proportional representation.

More precisely, proportional representation by province.

As far as keeping their promises goes, I think this issue is pretty simple: while their votes on the subject were still meaningless, both the Bloc Québécois and the Conservatives supported, at the very least, considering PR.

But what, you may ask, does proportional representation have to do with the separation of Québec or the alienation of the West?

Well, that's where the "by province" becomes so important.

Proportional representation is intended to ensure that each party's share of the seats in parliament is roughly proportional to their share of the popular vote. But, while seldom discussed in the debate over PR, such a system could -- just as easily -- provide this outcome by requiring that each party's share of the seats from each province is roughly proportional to their share of the popular vote in each province.

Let me admit that I'm NDP through and through -- I have a partisan interest in a proportional system.

I'm not Québéçois, either. Nor am I a Westerner. I'm not a conservative, nor a sovereigntist.

I'm a progressive Newfoundlander -- but I'm a Canadian first.

And as a Canadian, the only thing I want to see more than Jack Layton with a fifty seat caucus, is Conservatives elected from Québec and New Democrats elected from Alberta.

Afterall, why do Québécers want to leave the greatest country in the world?

Maybe it's because they've only every had one other viable political choice -- the Liberals (I'd want to leave too!).

And why do Westerners feel that they have no voice?

Maybe it's because electing any more than a few of them actually seems to stop parties from forming government.

What could be better than electing people who agree with each other from all different provinces?

How about electing people who disagree with each other all from the same province?

As those who've read my individual blog will know, I write mostly about political strategy. As this was my virgin post to the prestigious E-Group, though, I thought I'd tackle a little substance -- if just a little substance.

The two largest opposition parties have enjoyed eleven years of being able to undermine the government without consequence.

Now they've got themselves a minority parliament.

They've got themselves a parliament in which every voice will be heard.

And, they've got an issue on which such voices could be heard for generations.

Now: What have they got to say for themselves?

on Jul 01, 2004
brilliant audio
on Jul 04, 2004
another ndp newfie professing what a great country we have as he lives off government handouts. why do working westerners get pissed off? the likes o' you sir.
on Jul 05, 2004

I agree; we need PR, pronto. The British Parliamentary system doesn't work very well when regional fragmentation occurs. I applaud Layton for putting PR at the top of his list.

One more thing, sorry if it's a wee bit off topic; I think if Ontarians ever clue into how much federalism costs them annually in "Equalization Payments", you will see an Ontario separatist movement. You could argue that the $900 tax hike (sorry, "health premium") and six billion dollar deficit wouldn't exist if Ontarians got to keep the cash they earn instead of handing it to other provinces. Link

on Jul 06, 2004

For the record I live in Ontario, where I -- like so many other Newfoundlanders -- have been forced to move to find better opportunities.

I also happen to have a GPA of 3.7, to have worked in R&D Nortel Networks and to have receive my first patent by the age of twenty -- you ignorant son of a bitch.
on Jul 26, 2004
What's up with the personal insults here? If you are so smart, can't you put a few sentences together that say something intelligent?

Maybe we should just cut out all the provinces you don't like, and see what sort of Canada we'd end up with? No thanks!
on Aug 15, 2004
The reality of Heaven or Hell is actually correct. God bless you.
on Aug 16, 2004
Dear John,

Don't presume to speak for the west. Especially when you make us all sound like whinning little children. It is bad enough the lack of understanding between the weast and east without inflammatory comments like yours. It is because of this sort of nonsense that those of us (westerners) that have to come to Ontario for work have to deal with all the misconceptions of what people are like from Alberta and the rest of the west.
on Apr 04, 2006
I want mp3 player. What will advise?
on Apr 10, 2006
To write the letter, it is necessary ...