this blog has moved to a new address:

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to

Friday, October 16, 2009

alberta electoral boundaries commission: written submissions highlights.

Written submissions to Alberta's Electoral Boundaries Commission have now been posted online. After a quick scan of the submissions, here are some of the highlights (feel free to post others I've missed in the comments section):

- Municipal leaders including Nolan Crouse, Melissa Blake, Donald Johnson, Stephen Mandel, Dave Bronconnier, and Lloyd Bertschi submitted in full force (to name a few). Among the municipal leaders, there appears to be a clear urban-rural split between urban municipal officials who wish to see their representation increased, and rural municipal officials who wish to see the current rural representation respected.

- Along with the numerous submissions from political riding associations, written submissions were made by MLAs Laurie Blakeman, Hector Goudreau, Peter Sandhu, Frank Oberle, and former MLAs Rick MillerMo Elsalhy, and Nick Taylor. Miller wants to see Edmonton-Rutherford renamed Edmonton-Wickman after former MLA and Alderman Percy Wickman. MP Devinder Shory thinks that adding four new MLAs is not a good use of taxpayers dollars, and MP Earl Dresheen responded with a form letter.

- Bloggers and engaged citizens Joey Oberhoffner, Duncan Wojtaszek, and Brian Dell all wrote excellent submissions.

- The Edmonton-Riverview Liberals want to keep their riding together while the Edmonton-Riverview PCs want it split at the North Saskatchewan River.

- The Calgary-West PCs want their riding split into two, with the new riding to be named Calgary-Olympic Park or Calgary-Hart (after former Stampede wrestler Stu Hart).

- The Alberta NDP has proposed new electoral maps for Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer. They also wish to change the name of Dunvegan-Central Peace to Central Peace-Notley in the memory of former NDP leader and area MLA Grant Notley. Other ridings named after former politicians include Edmonton-Decore, Edmonton-Manning, Edmonton-Rutherford, Calgary-Lougheed, and Calgary-Hays. The Edmonton-Manning NDP also recommend the name change.


Libarbarian said...

Blogger and engaged citizen Dave Cournoyer's submission was good too:

Anonymous said...

We should add at least 15 new MLA's.

Anonymous said...

After reading every one (yikes!) of the submissions and Hansard accounts of presentations, a couple things jump out at me. A very significant number of submitters are stating two things:
1. fewer MLAs, not more.
2. reduce the urban/rural disparity and follow the one person=one vote principle.

There are two groups who are arguing for a specific thing:
1. Airdrie Chestermere to remain separate
2. designate a mountain constituency that excludes Canmore.

And a number of submissions from the already designated "special" areas who are arguing for the status quo. Pretty much all rural submissions argue the same thing - they don't want to lose the extra power their vote currently holds.

I find the first group interesting because I think they represent the pulse of Albertans. They are those of use who had no say when the PCs rammed the increase to 87 legislation through. they represent voters who are frustrated and disengaged from the process because it is currently so undemocratic, and this whole process simply perpetuates more of the same. They ask a valid question: why are Albertans (as usual) only given a choice amongst the options that the government has already decided?

I do hope the commission will at least respect their voices and note this in their final report, even though they will not be able to actually do anything about it. It would be highly disrespectful to completely ignore the fact that the majority of submitters expressed the view that they wanted fewer MLAs and that they wanted urban votes to be equal to rural ones.

One of the commission members (can't recall which and I'm tired of reading Hansard) seems to have an interesting idea about the diversity of inner-city communities and how they might actually be far more challenging to represent than some far-flung rural areas. A few submitters (might have been the Chumir foundation as well) brought up a point I had not considered previously. The argument that rural constituencies are harder to represent begs the question: what really is involved in representing your constituents? If you represent a community like Dunvegan-Peace where the population is relatively static and most constituents are engaged in the same economic activity they were 10 years ago, how can this be more difficult than representing an urban community that has experienced significant immigration, population turnover, and change in needs? Surely its easier to represent the interests of 1000 farmers than it is to represent the interests of 200 children, 200 newly-arrived immigrants, 200 homeless, 200 urban professionals, 200 blue-collar workers. You get the picture.

Unfortunately this whole exercise is futility as the PCs will still do as they want in the end and I doubt we'll see any steps towards democracy. Sorry, I have to remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

The NDP submission made a critical mistake in their analysis of Calgary concerning their proposal for Calgary-Elbow. They list Connaught and Victoria Park as holding 0 people. This is true enough since those communities no longer exist, having been amalgamated into the Beltline, but nearly twenty thousand people still live there. The fact that the Beltline's population was not added would mean the riding would really have about 65 000 residents.

It seems like the NDP wrote their submission from Edmonton and should have had some Calgary members better involved in the drawing of the Calgary map.

tjk said...

I find it odd but not surprising that the NDs wouldn't recommend changing Edmonton Strathcona. It is one of the strangest out there. Also, Riverview (I believe, though it isn't actually pointed out on the map) still crosses the river. I truly hope the commission remedies this in some way.

Anonymous said...

So Sandhu wants to carve all the NDP neighbourhoods out of Manning! GASP! SHOCK! I doubt the commission will see through that one!