The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Sunday, June 29, 2003


Another warning to Paul Martin

Province national-affairs writer Jim McNulty is another voice picking up on the very real danger to the federal Liberals if party leader (and Prime Minister) in waiting Paul Martin decides to call a snap election in spring 2004.

Well… duh!

The Martinis’ thinking is that if the Liberals with a shiny new leader go to the polls during the “new leadership” honeymoon, with Canadians happy to see the back of Jean Chrétien, voters who hadn’t voted for the Liberals in the last couple of election would surely do so now.

Not so fast, guys.

As I’d written before in this space, a spring election means that the new federal representation order is delayed until the next general election. British Columbia and Alberta will have to wait another 3 1/2 years or more to get the additional House seats in the new order. When the opposition parties and the Liberal-hating punditry gently remind Western voters of this fact, the voters will respond, and the result won’t be pretty for the Liberals and Martin, both of whom were counting on making significant gains in Western Canada.

Sure, any failure to realize gains in the West can be offset by the prospect of another two dozen seats in Quebec. Doing so, though, does diddly-squat to bridge the West-Central divide, and leaves the opposition Canadian Alliance with more fuel for its founding argument that the Liberal Party exists to exploit everything this side of Dryden for the benefit of the fat-cats of central Canada. Not healthy.

Under-representation is a chronic complaint out here; on a strict rep-by-pop basis, BC should have around 40 seats, Alberta 30 (and Ontario 114.) It’s been a surefire hot-button issue for the regionalists in the Canadian Alliance to use when inciting the voters to go out and give the “Eastern” parties hell. The current formula discriminates against the fast-growing provinces, but the idea that Central Canada conspires to screw “the West” out of seats is an easy sell in these parts.

Come to think of it , when BC’ers whine about their under-representation in the House, they always like to compare the number of people per MP to PEI (an egregious example) or New Brunswick. Oddly enough, Saskatchewan has fewer residents per MP than New Brunswick, but you’ll never hear a commentator out here complain about Saskabush getting too many seats—or, for that matter, Ontario getting less than its fair share. Never let the facts get in the way of a good rant. (I’m pretty sure that that’s Vancouver Sun scribbler Barbara Yaffe’s motto.)

Sorry for harping on an old hangup. If Martin does call an early election and disaster ensues, I reserve the right to say “I told you so!”

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