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A great idea from the federal Liberals

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  • A great idea from the federal Liberals

    The federal Liberals have come out with a MP seat distribution plan that I think is much superior to that of the government.

  • #2
    Agreed. At first blush, looks like a sensible proposal. The last thing Canada needs is 30 more MPs.


    • #3
      I like it as well, its nice to see the Liberal party finally (of late) coming up with a good idea that can win popular support. I can imagine the outrage in Quebec though, I guess the Liberal party has virtually zero support outside the GTA, so they aren't concerned. I sometimes wonder why the Conservatives still pander to Quebec for only a few seats.

      This bit looks "hairy" though:

      The Constitution also says the number of seats in Quebec can never drop below 75 and no province can have fewer seats than it had in 1985. But the Liberals say the federal legislature can change those rules without the usual amending formula that requires the support of seven provinces representing 50 per cent of the population because Parliament has the authority to do so in relation to the House of Commons under section 44 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
      Last edited by moahunter; 18-11-2011, 12:40 PM.


      • #4
        Kelly McParland: Liberals urge Tories to play Jackass with Quebec seat total

        Lol, this is funny:

        Sure, okay, I’ll bite. The Constitution stipulates that the number of seats in Quebec can’t fall below 75 and that no province can have fewer seats than it had in 1985, but Mr. Dion wants us to believe Quebec will happily overlook this fact, just to be a nice guy. Presumably it will also cancel Bill 101, let shopkeepers put up signs in any language they want, re-introduce conscription and admit that Maurice Richard was a second-rate puck hog who didn’t deserve all the attention he got. Stuff like status, or protecting its place in the pecking order, don’t mean a lot in Quebec. It’s an easy-going place. “Favour Alberta over Quebec? Sure, go ahead. Whatever.”

        You have to wonder how the Liberals got two of their MPs to appear in public and suggest anything so ridiculous. You can almost picture Bob Rae, just off stage, giggling helplessly while watching his two straight-laced colleagues read their lines. “Goodale! Look, look! They’re actually doing it.”

        Notice how the Liberals aren’t suggesting they’d reduce Quebec’s seat total. (Are you nuts? Think they’re suicidal?) No, they want the Tories to do it, because they know the real result would be the political equivalent of nuclear armageddon, with Conservative hopes of ever winning another Quebec seat transformed into the equivalent of a smoking, ruined hulk. A Canadian Chernobyl. Think Dresden, 1945.
        Last edited by moahunter; 18-11-2011, 02:38 PM.


        • #5
          Going from memory here but I think McParland may be wrong.

          The Constitution (which can't be changed without provincial consent) specifies that the number of House of Commons seats can't be less than the number of Senate seats (ergo under this provision, New Brunswick and PEI can't go below their current seat total).

          The grandfather provision (which provided that no province could go below their 1976 seat total) is in federal legislation, not in the Constitution.
          Elections Canada has more info about this here:


          • #6
            To supplement, under the Liberal plan, Quebec would have slightly better representation in the House of Commons (72 out of 308 seats, or 23.4%) than under the Conservative plan (78 out of 338 seats, or 23.1%).


            • #7
              I like it....

              ...and I really like that the Liberals are proposing an alternative to the +30 nonsense that would do nothing but waste money. We need to seriously look at this option, and see whether it could actually be accepted.

              I have been astounded by the lack of concern by many fiscal conservatives to the thought of adding 30 new members.


              • #8
                Kelly McParland sounds like she's writing to the conservative audience more than she's thinking it through.

                First of all the Liberal's know this will not happen. Harper has seen fit to invoke closure and jam through pretty much every bill since they got a majority.

                Second, the Liberals are giving Quebec a slap in the face to wake them up. The message is, if you don't vote for us we're not going to fight your battles for you.

                Third, the Liberals know that in the rest of Canada this looks like a very reasonable proposition. It's appealing to their base and, by virtue of saving money and sticking it to Quebec, to the Conservative base.

                So this is an all win situation for the Liberals as they can propose something reasonable that most Canadians will recognize as reasonable while sending a message to Quebec and perhaps driving a little wedge into the Conservative base.

                The only thing that can weaken the Liberals position here is arguing that the whole thing is ridiculous, and the National Post seems willing to take point on that for Harper.

                "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"