Elections should not be played with stacked deck
There have been a number of reports and comments about the proposed new federal electoral boundaries as they would affect Burnaby. Permit me a different perspective on the issue.
An analysis by PollMaps.ca has found that the changes would result in a province-wide gain of eight seats for the Conservatives and a loss of two for the NDP, based on the 2011 vote. Other party standings would stay the same.
Would this be a fair outcome? Currently the Conservatives, with 46% of the province-wide vote, have 58.3 per cent of the seats (21 out of 36). The NDP with 32.5 per cent of the vote has 33.3 per cent of the seats (12 out of 36). If the election had been run under the proposed new boundaries—without changing a single vote—the totals would have been Conservatives 69 per cent of the seats (29 out of 42), and NDP 23.8 per cent of the seats (10 out of 42), according to the study.
One might expect that dividing the province into a larger number of ridings, using an impartial methodology, would produce a result closer to, not farther from, the actual popular vote—yet these new boundaries would give us the very opposite.
When a supposedly impartial process generates such a skewed result, one may question whether there is some inherent bias in the process itself.
Something does not seem right. This redistribution would have produced a much less democratic outcome. Elections should not be played with a stacked deck. That’s not fair to British Columbia.