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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

alberta's proposed new electoral boundaries (interim report)

The Electoral Boundaries Commission has released their interim report including maps of the proposed electoral division boundaries for the next election. Here are the proposed maps of Calgary, Edmonton, and Alberta-wide.

The second round of public hearings on the new boundaries are set to begin in April.

UPDATE (February 27, 2010):

Overall, I feel that the interim maps are a fairly good report from the Electoral Boundaries Commission. Given that the Commission had a legislative mandate to increases the number of electoral districts from 83 to 87, the members of the Commission likely had a much easier time deciding boundaries than had the number stayed the same or decreased. Here are some thoughts:

- I am pleased to see that the City of Grande Prairie would now have its own fully-urban riding and that Fort McMurray now has two districts.
- Edmonton received an additional electoral district, which places the Capital City at the same position it was before it lost a district during the 2003 boundary review. I would have liked to see Edmonton receive at least two new seats.
- Are voters in the Capital Region outside of Edmonton disenfranchised? I have always questioned the reasoning behind clumping Edmonton's bedroom communities like the Town of Morinville into electoral districts with Barrhead and Westlock, and Sturgeon Valley with Athabasca. Having grown up in Morinville, I can attest that there is little commonality between the three communities (I would estimate that around 90% of Morinville residents commute to work in Edmonton or St. Albert). It would make more sense to include these communities in a Sturgeon Valley district that included common communities in the Capital Region (the same can be said of Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville).
- From a political perspective, these interim maps would pose a political challenge to some incumbent MLAs. For example, Battle River-Wainwright MLA Doug Griffiths may have to face-off in a nomination contest with Drumheller-Stettler MLA Jack Hayden. The additional electoral district in Fort McMurray could also make it easier for Independent MLA Guy Boutilier bid for re-election.
- Once again, the Poland of Alberta's electoral map, Edmonton-Calder would disappear as it is merged with Edmonton-GlenoraEdmonton-North West, and Edmonton-Le Perle. This would pose a challenge to current Edmonton-Calder PC MLA Doug Elniski and former NDP MLA David Eggen (who many people expect to seek election in 2012).

Once again, the second round of public hearings begin in April 2010, so if you do not like what you see in these maps, show up and let yourself be heard!

32 comments:

Matt Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hatrock said...

Wow, can that get any more confusing for voters in Edmonton? And some terrible riding names. Not that anyone is voting PC anymore, but this only makes it worse for incumbants winning over new voters and losing others.

Shane said...

My riding, Calgary Hays is strange, strange. Not what I was expecting at all.

Shane
www.calgaryrants.com

Waffle House's Waffles said...

It doesn't look like a lot of thought was given into the history of/community cohesiveness/compactness/sensibility of Glenmore.

OR

There was a lot, and it's gerrymandered to screw with Paul Hinmann.

Calgary-Glenmore is a mutant that must be killed.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice there's no more Calgary-Currie? Bye-bye Dave Taylor...

Lorne said...

They got rid of the Edmonton Meadowlark (outdated since Meadowlark is in the Riverview constituency) name and renamed in Edmonton Laperle. Thats a start. However they have kept the name Edmonton Mill Creek even though, with the change in boundaries, the Creek no longer runs through it.

Anonymous said...

Glenmore is gerrymandered to the hilt.

Anonymous said...

Other thoughts looking at these maps Calgary-Fort looks really bloated.

Dave Taylor is screwed.

Some senior ministers riding's look remarkably intact. e.g. Calgary-West, Fort Saskatchewan- Vegreville, Sherwood Park

Its Vermilion-Lloydminster not Llyodminster-Vermilion.

No riding's named Notely

Grande Prairie gets resurrected for the first time since it was abolished in 1993

Glenmore while Gerrymandered used to go all the way up as far north as 17th Ave SW in the 1960's, so the current boundaries still fit into its historical area.

Anonymous said...

still way too many rural seats. 2/3rds of the province lives in metro Calgary and Edmonton, 2/3rds of the seats should come from there.

Anonymous said...

What?! 55 of 87 seats by my best count or 63% are in the metro areas. It's not 2/3rds, but man, it's pretty close.

Dave Cournoyer's Sense of Righteousness said...

Maybe it's just because it looks so different to me, but I don't like this map at all. Hopefully it will change a tonne between now and the final report, because as it stands, I sure hope the Legislature votes down the recommendation of their committee.

Not even on gerrymandering grounds. It just seems to have been drawn with far too little regard to existing community or simplicity.

Anonymous said...

read the report: 2/3 of the population does NOT live in edmonton and calgary. 52% live in Edmonton and Calgary. 2/3 live in "urban" that includes Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat.


grr.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Fort Mac I am glad we will have two ridings.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that they left Laurie Blakeman's riding intact. Though, come to think of it, it may serve their purposes to have her in the house as a primo Lib

edmonton lad said...

Can someone from Calgary explain to me why Dave Taylor is 'screwed'?

I don't know the landscape there well enough to make that judgment.

edmonton lad said...

Further to my last post,

from the looks of it, the new 'killarney' riding takes in parts of the old Buffalo, the old Currie, and the old Elbow. None of which were bad ridings for Liberals. Couldn't Taylor run there and have a good shot at re-election?

Clockwork Teal said...

Dave Taylor is screwed because his strongest base of support was the Altadore area, and he even did fairly well in Mount Royal. He also tended to win the polls on the east side of the constituency and got his clock cleaned on the west side - which is where Killarney is.

The one silver lining for the new Killarney is it encompasses Scarboro, which was Kent Hehr's stronghold. But the areas west of that were a wasteland for Kent. So Killarney takes in a lot of bad polls.

A better choice for Dave Taylor would be Elbow, which has a lot of those strongholds of his. Unfortunately, it also brings in a lot of areas the Liberals did pretty poorly in, and puts him up against an incumbent cabinet minister.

This map is a nightmare for the Liberals in other ways. Harry Chase trades Dalhousie for Silver Springs, and Darshan Kang loses huge chunks of his centre of gravity.

Even Kent Hehr has reason to be concerned. Trading Scarboro for Mission and some of Lower Mount Royal may put in more Liberal polls, but not a lot more Liberal votes - these people just don't get out to the ballot box.

WORST OF ALL though is Paul Hinmann. His base of support was centered in Calgary-Glenmore in Southwood, where he just cleaned up. It has been suspiciously cleaved from Glenmore, and in exchange Glenmore now runs up the east side of the elbow.

Now, if you know that part of Calgary, you know that Southwood fits in well with the 14th Street/24th Street communities that made up old Glenmore. The communities that have been thrown in most certainly do not.

It looks like the Tories are sticking a knife in all of the opposition members in Calgary except David Swann. You gotta ask yourself: why?

Lou Arab said...

A rough calculation of the 2008 results on these boundaries shows the Liberals winning in Calgary Killarney by about 200 votes.

And that doesn't factor in the rise in support of the Alliance, who are bound to cut into the PC vote total.

Taylor could run here and have a very good chance at re-election.

Crescent Heights Guy said...

Could they change the name of Calgary Mountain View to Calgary Escarpment? In 2008 that hill on the north side of Bow killed me. If you don’t actually live on the escarpment then you live within 10 blocks of it. Anyone canvassing that riding is ready for K2 after election day.

Crescent Heights Guy said...

“It looks like the Tories are sticking a knife in all of the opposition members in Calgary except David Swann. You gotta ask yourself: why?”

One of the main tenants of Gerrymandering is bottling up opposition support into as few ridings as possible. In Calgary, the bottle is Mountain View (regrettably not called Calgary Escarpment, see above). In 2004 and 2008 Swann won all but a few polls in Mountain View and his plurality in the riding as a whole is off-the-scale by ALP standards. If the Tories broke up Mountain View, the fragments may well be red enough to tip more ridings (like North Hill) Liberal. It’s good game theory for the PCs to keep this Liberal bastion in one piece.

jerrymacgp said...

Prior to the last redistribution, I made a presentation to the EBC asking for a single urban-only riding for the City of Grande Prairie. We didn't get it then, but this interim report now recommends this change.

GP is a rapidly growing city (pop'n over 50,000) at the heart of a large semi-rural community; kind of a microcosm of a big city. We have true suburbs (i.e. bedroom communities): Clairmont, Sexsmith, Wembley, and the Wedgewood subdivision of the County. We have the same urban-rural tensions with our neighbours over development, shared services, revenue sharing, etc. Unlike Fort McMurray, there are dozens of small towns and hamlets in close proximity that count on GP for many of the goods and services they can't get in their small towns.

Grande Prairie deserves a city-wide constituency that is distinct from the rural seat.

Anonymous said...

So basically these boundaries have been, once again, rejigged to hurt the opposition as much as possible? And once again the Liberals appointees to the committee were to dumb or disconnected to do much about it.

Look at the thorns in the PC's sides, and match up their ridings with drastic changes. Taylor, Hinman and Boutillier all get smacked around by this process.

Lame. No wonder people don't waste time voting.

Stuart said...

Rural Alberta and Urban Alberta both seem to feel themselves getting shafted - having lived in both I get where everyone is coming from.
I'm starting to think we'd be better off with an Urban and Rural legislature.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:21:00 AM, I don't think the Liberal appointees to the committee are dumb, they're simply outnumbered.

Where I agree perhaps is that mey be the grits are always too nice, naively believe in the "process," and always want to "do a good job on behalf of joe public." They need to understand the game better but even if they do/did, they'd still be outnumbered.

Anonymous said...

Lou's right. There's a good chance Taylor could get re-elected here. Lots of people had him losing to the scud-stud, remember?

But the media speculation this week about Taylor's interest in the mayor's seat is interesting. Look for him to run. His sort of ideologically disparate (incoherent?) populism is made for Calgary municipal politics.

Lorne said...

I stand corrected. Mill Creek, according to the map does run through the new district.

Brad said...

Let's be clear about one thing; the Chair of the Commission was Judge Walter, former Chief Judge of the Provincial Court. It may be that he had a PC connection which "helped" with his appointment to the Bench but if so, that would have had to have been something he would have had to renounce upon his appointment.

If I understand correctly, there were 3 PC appointments to the Commission (of which Judge Walter was one), and 2 ALP appointments. That suggests to me that if, in fact, it came down to PC v. ALP on every decision, Judge Walter would have had to cast the deciding vote. And knowing him as I do, I cannot conceive that he would have consistently voted in a manner that would disadvantage political opponents to the PC. I truly believe that he would vote (were his vote required) to give effect to what he truly believed would be in the best interest of all Albertans.

McNally said...

Oh come one people, like any announcement by this group could be accepted by the readers of this blog without the fire and brimstone saying that the Tories were out to screw various MLAs.
The additional MLA seat in Fort Mac is very important as it will hopefully give the region a useful official and perhaps a seat in the Cabinet not named Guy Boutilier. They've been crying out for another seat for years; does Guy swoop in to take credit for this?

Anonymous said...

I'm saddened by the censorship on this blog. If Dave believes in freedom of speech, why delete posts?

Shame!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Dave. Good points.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that the new Edmonton-Callingwood riding has a rather phallic look to its boundaries? Seriously, look at that map.

They call it wood said...

yep, and its doing things to Edmonton-Whitemud.