Many describe Canada as a liberal-democratic country, but with our current “first past the post” electoral system, this is questionable as it results in unequal political representation. As such, many are calling for “a more democratic form of representation” (Gingras, 2005). This also lends itself to the theory Ben Tomlin discusses in his article The Seat Shortage: Changing Demographics and Representation in the House of Commons (2007). Tomlin’s (2007) thesis is supported by other authors such as Wendy Tso and Francois- Pierre Gingras, who also recognize the “democratic deficit” (Gingras, 2005 & Tso, 2005).
Tomlin’s (2007) article is quite persuasive commencing with his methodology demonstrating that this problem will only get worse over time if it is not soon addressed. To determine how serious the problem is Tomlin (2007) studied the following:
• each province’s total fertility rate assuming it remains at its 2005 levels;
• life expectancy at birth assuming rates similar to those of Stats Canada;
• interprovincial migration assuming it continues at the 2000-2004 average; and
• net international migration for each province assuming it continues at the 2000-2004.
I think that in Tomlin’s analysis of fertility rates, he took into account declining rates which would have an impact on the number of constituents per riding. It appears he even considered economic crises such as we are now experiencing – the current recession- in the interprovincial migration stats. However, I do not think he considered out migration from Alberta when there is no oil in the oil fields, nor did he consider the markets for our oil dropping as has been threatened by Barrack Obama when he has criticized the “dirty oil” coming from Alberta. This would certainly impact the number of jobs in Alberta and then the population.
As a result of this study, Tomlin concluded that by 2021 if the above mentioned points remain constant three provinces, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia...