Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quebec Politicans Take an Axe to Democracy

Largely unnoticed by most, was a recent proposition put forward by the Parti Quebecois to manipulate the electoral map to it's advantage. This, hot on the heels of the Liberal party's rejection of recommendations by the Director General des Elections Quebec to re-jig the electoral map to better reflect the actual population distribution.
"Equality of the votes of electors
The equality of the votes of electors is an important prerequisite for effective representation. Each electoral district must have roughly an equal number of electors."
Director General des elections Quebec  
While the principle of one person/one vote represents the democratic ideal, it never has actually been fully embraced in Quebec, with some ridings enjoying markedly a different voter base.
Definition of "Gerrymander"
"To divide a geographic area into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections. "
FROM DGE'S Website; 
"...equality of the vote consists of regrouping an approximately equal number of electors in each electoral division in the Province of Quebec. The Act specifies that the number of electors in an electoral division can not be greater or less than 25% of the average.
However, the Commission de la représentation électorale (CRE) can establish an exceptional electoral division that will have special dispensation from the ±25% criteria, if it judges that the decision can meet the goal of the Act: effective representation. In these cases, the CRE must give its grounds for the decision in writing." LINK
While the Director General espouses a policy of fairness, he is left with a fairly large loophole with which the principle of one person/one vote can be completely ignored.  And so we are rewarded with this dog's breakfast of riding inequity, where the number voters vary considerably.

The average number of eligible electors per riding is about 46,000, but twenty-nine of the 125 ridings fall outside the ±25% rule.
That's quite a bunch of exceptions!

If you live in the remote Magdalen Islands, your vote is actually worth almost six times as much as if you live in the Montreal suburb of Laval and as you can see, the Gaspe peninsula region is vastly over-represented.

Back in September the man in charge of the  electoral map, Marcel Blanchet, the DGE (Director General des elections)  proposed making some changes to address the problem of over and under-representation. After a three year study he suggested merging some rural ridings and adding a couple to heavily populated districts.
Premier Charest would have nothing to do with the plan because it would affect an upcoming by-election where he held out hopes of holding a riding in  Rivière-du-Loup (which he eventually lost anyways) and so, he ripped up the the DGE's proposal, which was non-binding.
In disgust Mr. Blanchet resigned.

In a decision worthy of a Quebec politician, Pierre Moreau, the Liberal minister in charge, opted to add the three seats proposed by the DGE, but not to merge the three over-represented rural seats. Bravo! Link{FR}
Considering that Ontario has 18 less seats for 50% more citizens, adding another three seems a bit excessive, but hey, this is Quebec, North Americas most over-represented and governed political entity.

Now the Parti Quebecois is proposing to make this rural/urban divide permanent with a cockamamie proposal to create two classes of ridings, rural and urban, where the concept one person/one vote would be thrown out the window.
"To add to the election Law criteria, giving a preponderance related to the dynamic occupation of the region.
("D’ajouter aux critères de la Loi électorale l’occupation dynamique du territoire en lui conférant une valeur prépondérante") PQ website {FR} 
Sounds like BS in both English and French and it reminds me of the convoluted referendum question, couched in obscure terms to soft pedal a nebulous  proposition.

Talking to Mario Dumont on his television show, xenophobe/Anglophobe Gilles Proulx said out loud what nobody in the PQ was willing to say, that the proposition is wise because it reduces the power  of immigrants in Montreal, because, after all, they aren't really Quebeckers.


  1. Editor, you just noticed this inequity? This issue has been around forever and a day! In the 1998 election, Charest got more votes than Bouchard---AND LOST the election!

    In 2003, Charest won, and won two elections since yet has done NOTHING to help his cause. Since he doesn't have a majority this time around, he's powerless to change it, and if the PQ wins, you can be sure they'll rig the electoral map so they can win with 30% of the vote, even if other parties get more votes.

    The rural areas are the PQ's bread and butter, so given a win next time around, look out! In the 1994 election, both the PQ and PLQ had 44.7% of the popular vote, but the PQ won because of those low population constituencies in the country. Why Charest has sat on his hand over this is retarded, pure and simple!

  2. what amazes , but not surprizing... Dumont hardly put's up an effort to combat Proulx's racist and anti democratic arguement... What will be next?. .. out of respect, I won't suggest what we're all thinking... Unbelieveble, welcome to the future Bananna Republic of Kewbec.......

  3. Time is running out on these lunatic Separatists and their desperate ideas are starting to bubble up to the surface. If demographics is destiny, Pur laine Quebecois won't have much political power in a few generations. Reshuffling the deck chairs on a sinking ship is pointless. What Gilles Proulx was advocating (in a racist and xenophobic manner)was taxation without representation. See how long Montrealers will stand for that. Montreal needs to be governed differently and separately from the rest of Quebec. The City State is entirely achievable and should be pursued. I don't give a rat's ass about the far flung region's of Quebec just as they don't give a rat's ass about the democratic rights of Montrealers.

    1. Do you remember the poor murdered mans name? Recent studies prove that a large percentage of "pure blood" French are actually Metis. I now only care about my hometown Montreal.

  4. Iles de la madeleine is exempt from the +/-25% since to be part of quebec that was deal that was given to ythem, to have a seat in parliament just for them, i heard that, but not sure if it is truly so.
    As for the rest, yep 1 man one vote never existed in quebec. They never respected the way out of bound +-25% and that margin is way way to big, it should be +-2% at max, what kind of democracy allows such discrepency, no wonder parties like the PQ win the government with 40% in 1976.

  5. Old Harry nous appartient maintenant.Le Québec va bientôt produire du pétrole.L'Alberta va peut-être voter Bloc Québécois.

  6. Wow No Dogs sure is on the cutting edge of news... this was all discussed in the media months ago.

    There is far more to representation than One-person-One-vote. MLAs represent a territory as well as it's population. How much access wouyld the people of the Magdalen islands have to their MLA of their riding was merged with, for example, Gaspé? Because of local issues, I'd argue that this representation is much more important for people in the regions than it is for people in Fabre.

    Btw, the six smallest ridings (that will not be merged) are currently split 3/3 for the liberals and PQ, and five of the six largest (that will be split) are currently liberal ridings. Where is the GERRYMANDERING there? In your head, as usual. I'm sure there's an evil seppie plot somewhere.

  7. Gilles Proulx is a Jack-@$$, pure and simple.

    "Why does 50/55 thousand imigrants choose to live in Montreal and not expand to the "regions" of quebec"... tough one Gilles... Maybe because people need jobs to live!?!?!

    The seppies are turning this province into something comparable to a 3rd world country.

    I've been to countries in Central and south America with roads ways better then ours.

    Montreal has gone from a emerging global metropolis to a 3rd or even 4th grade city. Like Montreal you have dozens and dozens of cities throughout the americas, and instead of climbing up we're sinking down!!!!

    If Gilles Proulx is so concerned about the dwindalling populations in the "regions" why doesn't he go live in "Les Ile de les Madelaine"? I'd be more then happy to see him off to the farthest reaches of the province. I wonder what carreer opertunities he would have out there...

    What a dumb-@$$!!!!

  8. "I've been to countries in Central and south America with roads ways better then ours."

    Pourquoi êtes-vous revenu?Vous ne parlez pas espagnole?

  9. I think that age has really gotten to Gilles Proulx. Some senior citizens become really cranky when they get old. My point? CTV did a special on the "post-referendum" blues just days after the 1995 referendum, and Gilles Proulx seemed really calm and rational about Quebec's situation at the time.

  10. Such a racist mofo! I can't wait for this generation of xenophobic dinosaurs to extinguish.... "Protection" of the French language is one thing but bashing immigrants in such a rude manner ... damn it's disgusting.

  11. The Isle de la Madeleine & Ungava ridings are no brainers. They need to be merged with nearby ridings, It's absolutely unacceptable that the laws are being violated by the very people that pass laws.

    Deleting those two riding can even lead to decreasing the National Assembly down to 123 members.

    Also, in your graphic you have Vimont in Montreal. Actually it's in Laval. So, out of the five ridings for Laval, four are under represented. Nice going!

  12. "it's advantage?" Don't you guys have a proof reader?

  13. Small correction....Laval is its own city not a suburb of Montreal