Crawl Across the Ocean

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Corrupt Conservative Government in PEI

From the Globe (via My Blahg News)

"PEI required a boundary review after the last provincial election. On Jan. 5, 2004, Mr. Justice John McQuaid was put in charge of the review, aided by representatives chosen by each party: John Mitchell and Roberta Hubley. After 17 public hearings and an interim report, the final review was handed to the province on Oct. 5, 2004.

But nothing happened until early 2006, when a government committee was established to review that report.

The Liberals labelled the move political interference and refused to take part. A Conservatives-only committee was then formed, held six public meetings and asked Elections PEI to draw up a new boundary map. Chief Electoral Officer Lowell Croken said the request was "very unusual," but the department did as requested. The resulting map did not differ greatly from the McQuaid report.

The Conservatives then hired former chief electoral officer Merrill Wigginton to draw up a third map. That third, Conservative-funded map was passed by a special summer sitting of the assembly on June 28 after the Liberals walked out in protest."

Maybe the voters in PEI might want to rethink their rejection of proportional representation, after this blatant example of the perils of the first-past-the-post. In a proportional system, it would be rarer that one party can take this kind of obviously anti-democratic yet self-serving action, since it is less likely for one party to have a majority of the seats (although the current Conservative government did receive over 50% of the vote, so that might not help in this case). And on top of that, the Conservatives wouldn't have the same motivation to gerrymander in a proportional system, since proportional systems are generally much harder to rig.


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