In a democracy, one expects that the principle of one vote per person would provide equality. All of our input should be treated on an equal basis. What does One person = One vote really mean?
In this province (as in others), we have provincial and federal electoral districts that are greatly outside of any reasonable quotant for fairness. It is not a black and white issue.
The most populous region of the province continues to be underrepresented, while the hemorrhaging rural areas cling to more seats than they might reasonably be entitled too. Big deal, not a big deal?
Case in point, Labrador, the big land! The region is not a territory, it does not have any special governmental status, yet it continues to have it's own seat in the House of Commons. No one here seems to mind. In fact, while submission after submission in past redistribution hearings has requested changes to the boundaries on the island, there has been no clamor for change in Labrador. We are too polite to demand change, or perhaps allowing such a distortion underscores our demand for more say in Ottawa, despite our small population.
The Labrador seat was created, in no small part, through the dogged determination of Bill Rompkey. Up until 1988, Labrador was part of a riding that contained northern sections of the island of Newfoundland. Since that time, the population has contracted but the riding has remain unchanged. In fact, it is the only federal riding in this province thats boundaries are not up for discussion.
This, despite the fact that the population has dropped by 4 % since 2001. Even the sprawling riding of Nunavut has 5,000 voters more than Labrador!
What gives? What justifies this unique situation? Why does Labrador continue to have the smallest population of any federal riding in the country, while the population has increased on the Avalon. It is a cared cow that deserves a closer examination.
Perhaps it is time to have another look at Labrador's coveted seat and restore some balance to our individual voting power.