Sunday, February 1, 2015

We urgently need to add 112 more federal MPs to make representation in Parliament fair

We have a serious problem in Canada when it comes to representation in parliament because right now we are not even close to equality between the people of Canada.    The House of Commons is intended to represent the people of the country equally but this is not what we have in Canada.   Yes, the parliament has been increased to 338 members from 308 but we are still a long way off from equality.

If we were to distribute 338 seats fairly this is what the House of Commons representation

Ontario     129 +8 
Quebec       79 +1 
BC           44 +2 
Alberta      37 +3 
Manitoba     12 -2
Saskatchewan 10 -4
Nova Scotia   9 -2
New Brunswick 8 -2
Newfoundland  5 -2
PEI           2 -2
Territories   3  0

This works out to roughly 100,000 per riding other than in PEI and the North.   While the large provinces do not gain a lot overall, the important change is the drop in MPs from the low population provinces.    

Because of the Senate clause this redistribution can not happen.

If instead we were to have one MP per 75,000 people this is how it would look

Ontario      171 +50 
Quebec       105 +27 
BC            59 +17 
Alberta       49 +15 
Manitoba      16 +2
Saskatchewan  14  0
Nova Scotia   12 +1
New Brunswick 10  0
Newfoundland   7  0
PEI            4  0 - should be 2 but Senate clause raises it to 4
Territories    3  0

We would now have 450 MPs and only PEI would have more MPs than it should.   This is in my opinion the lowest number of MPs we could have have and still retain a fair representation in parliament and not get rid of the Senate clause.

I know that many people will think that adding 112 more MPs is crazy and too much, but it is much better than the status quo.   As long as the Atlantic provinces are wildly over represented in Ottawa it becomes hard for the country to governed well.    If adding 112 MPs is unreasonable to people, the alternative is to get rid of the Senate clause and allowing provinces to lose MPs if their population does not warrant the number they have.

The abolition of the Senate would remove the Senate clause and allow a fairer representation to happen.

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