Feature

Canada: Where one vote can cancel out three

For decades, Canada has failed to adjust its allocation of seats in the House of Commons to keep up with changing population levels, said an editorial in the National Post.

EditorialNational Post

Canada pretends to be a democracy, said the National Post, but until now, some people’s votes have carried more weight than those of others. For decades, Canada has failed to adjust its allocation of seats in the House of Commons to keep up with changing population levels. The result is that Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia have far fewer seats in the national legislature than they ought to, given their share of the national population. Quebec, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island all have more than they deserve. In fact, the average parliamentary district in British Columbia has about three times as many voters as a district in Prince Edward Island—which means that “a vote in P.E.I. is worth more than three times what a vote in B.C. is worth.”

We’ve gotten to this point largely thanks to the intransigence of Quebec, which blocked bills to add seats to the western provinces because it didn’t want to dilute its “disproportionate influence over federal affairs.” Fortunately, now that the Conservatives have won an outright majority almost entirely without Quebec’s support, the government can go ahead and add the seats over Quebecers’ objections. Finally, “the principle of one Canadian, one vote” will be a reality.

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