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Index for my Toronto Budget 2004 project
Triple-E Senate Reform
22/03/2004

A recent Windsor Star editorial tells us that a survey finds "72 per cent of Ontarians endorsed an elected Senate with equal representation from each province". I'm not really sure why. Nor do I believe those numbers would hold up if there was any real debate on the issue.

I can go along with two Es in the Triple-E senate without batting an eye. Elected and Effective are hard to argue with. Neither is the word "Equal", I suppose, but it depends on what it means. I've yet to be convinced of the justification for equal representation for each province.

If you go over to Andrew Coyne's blog, you can find commenters who bash the idea of "rep by pop" as if it is some sort of fascist plot to hold them down. But really, I can't get behind an idea that argues against each person -- each voter -- having equal representation in our government.

Sure Ontario has a lot of seats. We have a lot of people, too. These people aren't just one overly-large blob called "Central Canada", no matter what it looks like from out west. These are voters.

Anyway, in numbers released today by Stats Canada, the population of Alberta has reached 9.99% of Canada's total. From an Albertan perspective, equal representation for provinces is becoming less relevant on a daily basis.

And in the latest redistribution of Parliament, the western provinces have 29.9% of the seats. Their new population totals show that the west represents 29.9% of the population. Why complain? For comparison, Ontario has 38.7% of the population and 34.4% of the seats.


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