Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adding House Seats Fairly (and Appeasing Quebec)

In my previous article, I looked at how the latest proposed distribution of new seats in the House of Commons failed to fairly represent Ontario and Alberta. Using this same math, how could the Conservative government add new seats to more fairly balance the distribution between the larger provinces of Ontario, Alberta, BC and Quebec?

Let's work with the assumption that the government will have to give a couple of seats to Quebec to keep them happy. With those two additional seats in Quebec, how many seats would need to be distributed among Ontario, Alberta and BC so that all four of those provinces had roughly equal representation per population amongst themselves?

If we add 2 seats to Quebec,  7 to Alberta, 7 to BC and 25 to Ontario, these 4 provinces would be pretty evenly represented per capita, amongst themselves. Of course, they're still underrepresented by population when compared to the rest of the provinces.

Out of curiosity, how could seats be added to all provinces to ensure a fair representation by population for each province and without removing any seats from the province with the most sparsely populated ridings, PEI?

It would mean more than trippling the size of the House and would require some major renovation to find space to put all the seats. Also, the territories might also start to feel left out, but we have to draw the line somewhere.