Boundary Hearing Presentations: “Specious, Laughable, Partisan”

Murray Mandryk’s column today, on the ongoing federal electoral boundary hearings, is terrific and (mostly) dead-on:

The bigger the partisan self-interest, the stupider the argument. And there is massive, partisan self-interest among federal Conservatives to maintain the current urban-rural split ridings, where pockets of antiConservative urban votes are diluted by large rural components.

For this reason, we witnessed a parade of Conservatives (MPs, candidates, party executives, etc.) advancing the laughable notion that there’s really no difference between voters in Rosetown and Riversdale or Nokomis and North Central.

One supposes it could have been even more ridiculous. Someone could have suggested putting Val Marie, Sask. and Gaspe, Que. in the same riding because they both have French names and that would be good for national unity. (As it was, we did hear Regina councillor and mayoralty candidate Michael Fougere claim Regina’s interests are better served by MPs who don’t specifically represent the city he aspires to lead. By this argument, shouldn’t Fougere be running for mayor of both Regina and Moose Jaw and call his new home Palliser?)

Go read it. It’s good stuff. The only way it could be better would be if Mandryk was allowed to write words like “bullshit” in his column.

One quibble: Mandryk’s observation that non-conservatives aren’t showing up might be premature. There are two more hearings in Regina: today, right now, and tomorrow starting at 9:00, both at the downtown Ramada–they’re open to the public and you should go. I know people attending those hearings who will present in favour of the boundary changes (including prairie dog writers Paul Dechene and Katherine Norton, both presenting tomorrow morning). Lot of people who support urban ridings work weekdays and a Monday afternoon hearing isn’t ideal for everyone, so it’s very good that there are three hearings in this town.

Though one of them probably should’ve been held on a weekday evening (not a Friday, obviously).

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

4 thoughts on “Boundary Hearing Presentations: “Specious, Laughable, Partisan””

  1. Not disagreeing with anything Mr. Mandryk wrote, I still wonder what the communities of Moose Jaw and Lanigan think about being in the same cinstituency?

  2. At the hearing I attended on Monday I heard people who were in favour of the status quo arguing that even within Regina there were different “communities of interest”

    Here’s a quote from Tom Lukiwski’s presentation: “I can guarantee that the interests in Regina north-west are not the same as in the Cathedral area or the inner-city or even the southern aspect of Regina.”

    I guess it would require 1,033,381 constituencies (to match Saskatchewan’s population as calculated in the 2011 census) to render the “communities of interest” question moot. But we only have 14 seats so some tough decisions have to be made and grouping people who live in the same municipality together is probably a pretty logical place to start.

    And not all of the presentations on Monday focussed on Regina (and Saskatoon). Suggestions were also made about shifting boundaries in other areas. With the proposed Kindersley-Rosetown-Humboldt and Lloydminster-Battlefords-Rosthern ridings, for instance, a couple of presenters suggested that instead of east-west orientations it would make sense to have two ridings orientated north-south so that Lloyminster-Kindersley-Rosetown on the western border of the province would be in one riding and more central communities like Humboldt and Rosthern would be in another riding.

    But again we only have 14 seats.

  3. Dechene and Norton did bang-up jobs! It’s too bad y’all left before Boughen. It was… honestly, embarrassing and sort of worrying.

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