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Saskatchewan provincial boundaries commission report

Robo
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Joined: Jun 1 2003
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Robo
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Joined: Jun 1 2003

The provincial Electoral Boundaries Commission has issued a report that proposes all seats except one in the far north fall within 5% of the provincial average. It is proposed a map increasing the overall seats by three to 61, in which there will be

a) 2 ridings in the far north (no change),

b) 13 entirely within the City of Saskatoon (up three) and one split between Sakatoon and its rural neighbours (down from 2),

c) 11 entirely within the City of Regina (up two) and one split between Regina and its rural neighbours (down from 2),

d) 2 in Prince Albert and one in each of The Battlefords and Moose Jaw North (no change)

e) 1 "shrunk down" (i.e. rural area excluded) seat in each of Moose Jaw Wakamow, Yorkton, Swift Current, and Martensville (basically no change), and

f) 29 seats in small town and rural Saskatchewan (basically no change).

 

Considering that it once was the Devine-led Saskatchewan PCs that brought forward the map that led to the Supreme Court of Canada setting out the rules for what reasonable representation and realtive voter parity means, it seems that Sakskatchewan's provincial commission of this era has produced one of the best reports out there to respect equality of voters.


nicky
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Joined: Aug 3 2005

I note from the report that the Commission only counted the population that is over 18 years of age.

I am unaware of any other redistribution that is not based on overall population, regardless of age.

This unique feature in Sakatchewan may well skewer the ridings in favour of those with elderly populations (rural and PC) and against those with younger and aboriginal populations  (largely urban and more NDP.)

I would be interested in knowing how much this has effected the boundaries.

It would be a potentially dangerous precedent to follow and one that could tip the scales in favour of the Conservatives. The Republicans in the US have come up with any number of schemes to depress the opposition vote (Photo ID, ban on felons voting, etc.) The Cons here have followed suit with photo ID. I can fosee them adopting the Saskatchewn age criterion. An even greater danger would be a criterion of eligible voters which would deplete the number of inner city ridings by eliminating the immigrant population for m the reditributoion equation.

(I hope they are not reading this.)

Perhaps the Saskatchewn rule might invite a Chater challenge.


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

Ironically in the Etobocoke Centre court case it's the opposite of what Nicky refers to. The Liberals are the ones arguing for the most stringent possible rules that will disenfranchise as many people as possible by making people who register on election day jump through additional hoops and have phoo ID etc... The Tories are arguing for the looser interpretation of the rules that would allow someone to be vouched for.


Robo
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Joined: Jun 1 2003
Firstly, I have seen no survey data from Saskatchewan in the past year or so, but know that the age bracket with the greatest amount of NDP support has been those over 65 for the past decade or so. Secondly, (again with same caveat about not seeing a report in the last year or two), rural ridings tend to be younger than average, not older than average. On average in Canada, families living in rural areas tend to have more chidren than families in urban areas; as such, the average age in rural ridings tends to skew (rather than skewer) young rather than old. I am not certain what grounds any Charter challenge of counting voters rather than all citizens would be founded. The section 3 "right to vote" has been given broad interpretation by the Supremes (such as in the Saskatchewan case I cite above), but I would not expect that any breadth of interpretation would lead them to find that refusing to count people too young to vote would violate section 3, or any other Charter section. Just a guess on my part, of course.

Robo
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Joined: Jun 1 2003

Firstly, I have seen no survey data from Saskatchewan in the past year or so, but know that the age bracket with the greatest amount of NDP support has been those over 65 for the past decade or so (not a surprise to me in Saskatchewan -- people who lived through the Doctors' Strike that led to Medicare, people who are old enough to have voted for a party led by Tommy Douglas). Secondly, (again with same caveat about not seeing a report in the last year or two), rural ridings tend to be younger than average, not older than average. On average in Canada, families living in rural areas tend to have more chidren than families in urban areas; as such, the average age in rural ridings tends to skew (rather than skewer) young rather than old. I am not certain what grounds any Charter challenge of counting voters rather than all citizens would be founded. The section 3 "right to vote" has been given broad interpretation by the Supremes (such as in the Saskatchewan case I cite above), but I would not expect that any breadth of interpretation would lead them to find that refusing to count people too young to vote would violate section 3, or any other Charter section. Just a guess on my part, of course.


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