The geography of the federal cabinet

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Wilf Day
The geography of the federal cabinet

The federal ministry includes 37 MPs. From 308 ridings, that's one for each 8.3 ridings.

With 32 MPs, the Atlantic provinces should have four ministers. They do. None from Newfoundland and Labrador, but two from New Brunswick to make up.

With 75 MPs, Quebec should have nine ministers. They have five. Excluded as unworthy are senior lawyer Daniel Petit (no excuse there, eh? -- Progressive Conservative organizer in the 1980s, "accidental MP" in 2006), Steven Blaney (environmental engineer and MBA, surely he will be in cabinet shortly), Sylvie Boucher (who was assistant chief of staff to the Quebec Minister of Tourism, and is the only other woman Conservative from Quebec after Josée Verner, how do they justify excluding her?), Maxime Bernier (still), and hay farmer Jacques Gourde. Of course, the real problem is that the greater Montreal area should have four ministers but has no Conservative MP.

With three MPs, the North should have 0.4 of a minister. They got one.

With 106 MPs, Ontario should have 12.7 ministers. They got 12. But with nine MPs Northern Ontario should have a minister, and does not. With 14 MPs southwestern Ontario should have one or two, but has none, not even retired police chief Dave Mackenzie from Oxford.

With 28 MPs, Manitoba and Saskatchewan should have 3.4 ministers. They got four.

With 28 MPs, Alberta should have 3.4 ministers. They got six!

With 36 MPs, BC should have four ministers. They got five.

So the West got the four extra, that Quebec was shorted. And Harper wonders why he's low in the polls in Quebec.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Interesting methodology. Can you run this through again based on populatiion - I think you will find out the figures change slightly given that BC, Alberta and Ontario are shorted in terms of the number of MPs they have, Quebec comes out about even, and the remainder (the North, the Atlantic, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) are, to varying degrees, over-represented when speaking of number of MPs.

In terms of cabinet representation, I would suggest you would find that the North, the Atlantic region, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are all over-represented and Ontario, Quebec and BC are all under-represented.

Your point that Quebec is getting hosed remains accurate (under either set of criteria).