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).