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How much is your vote worth?


 

Mike Moffatt figures some minorities are underrepresented by the current electoral map.

My question to you is: Given the other tensions the electoral system needs to consider, how much under-representation is acceptable? Is it acceptable for the vote from a “West Asian” be worth 95% of an average Canadian? 90%? 80%? 70%?  Where is the cut-off?


 

How much is your vote worth?

  1. Well, they could always move to sparsely populated ridings where their vote is worth more than the average Canadian’s.

    It’s not a question of race; it’s a question of geography, history, population density – and politics. An awful lot goes into deciding where riding boundaries are set; Moffatt needs to come up with more than the numbers he gives to convince me that race is one of the deciding factors (let alone a key one, as he seems to imply).

    • ” Moffatt needs to come up with more than the numbers he gives to
      convince me that race is one of the deciding factors (let alone a key
      one, as he seems to imply).”

       Maybe you should spending more time reading and less time watching yourself type.  
      The third sentence in Moffat’s piece(my bold), “Canada’s electoral system, however, does inadvertently make the votes from voters of some races worth less than others.”

      • Sorry, but despite the “inadvertantly”, to me the overall tone of the piece implies a different view. To me, it seems like the author started out with the assumption of racial bias and only threw in the “inadvertantly” because he couldn’t find enough evidence to make a full-blown accusation.

        • Example?

          • Just the whole bloody premise.

            First, there are far more than 13 ridings where the number of voters exceeds the average, and whose vote therefore counts for less than that of voters in less populous ridings.

            Second, there seems to be an assumption, given his chart on the number of seats held by visible minorities, that they can only be properly represented by “one of their own”. Which is utter nonsense.

            My riding currently has a South Asian MPP; all my choices for MPP in the upcoming election are South Asian. As a white person in this riding, then, by this theory, I am being discriminated against and am not being properly represented at Queen’s Park. While I would agree that I am not currently being properly represented, it’s not because the guy is South Asian; it’s because he doesn’t do anything (and so I’ll be voting for a different South Asian).

            As long as the person elected is doing his/her best to serve the needs of all the constituents, what does race matter?

            Some people assume racism in everything and then look for proof to support that. The article, as a whole, strikes me as an example of that backward approach.

          • None of which suggests he thinks it is anything other than inadvertent, as he explicitly states.

          • As I said, he used the word “inadvertant” because he was unable to prove his hypothesis of racism but wanted to make the insinuation anyway. For you, maybe that single word negates the tone of the rest of the argument. I see it as an attempt to pass off his own bias as something other than what it is.

          • There’s no “tone” insinuating deliberate underrepresentation.   Certainly none that you were able to provide a single example of.

          • @horse face: He looked for the smoking gun, failed to find it, but wrote his piece anyway. The entire premise is flawed, and if anything the data shows the opposite of institutional bias – and yet he chose to use the data in a misleading way to stir the pot.

            There are no ridings in which any of the minority groups constitutes a majority, yet all of the groups are represented in Parliament at a rate at worst equivalent to 85.5% of their overall population level. He thinks this less than 100% ratio is indicative of discrimination, yet given none of them have sufficient numbers in any riding to elect “one of their own” without support from another group, his is a flawed premise – if anything, the stats demonstrate Canadians’ willingness to ignore race when electing their representatives.

            And why drag up the US “3/5ths” rule, even couched in terms explaining how it is misunderstood,as his opening paragraph if not to imply institutional racism is ingrained and something we should expect to find?

            The raw data as he himself presents it clearly indicates it does not factor in as one of the determinative factors when boundaries are set (there are many underrepresented ridings in Canada; while he found that some of them have significant populations of visible minorities, he avoids indicating out of how many underrepresented ridings); there is a disparity between urban and rural, but that is true regardless of racial make-up of the ridings. He ignores this because that data doesn’t help his premise.

            An assessment of the amount of federal dollars beng spent in ridings with a high minority population versus similar ridings with a low minority population would be a far more meaningful comparison, if one is truly looking for evidence of racist policy – as long as you weight it for whether the MP is in government or opposition. Moffatt should have tried that, as it would be a clearer indicator of whether bias exists.

            In closing, the clear bias of this article cannot be undone by tossing in the word “inadvertant”. If you can’t see this, I can only conclude you share his bias and believe the racism is there – evidence to the contrary be dam*ed.

          • “And why drag up the US “3/5ths” rule”

            Because its conceivable to arrive at the same result regardless of intention.

            ‘there is a disparity between urban and rural, but that is true regardless of racial make-up of the ridings.”

            Indeed.  The underrepresentation of minorities is both real and inadvertent.

            “He ignores this because that data doesn’t help his premise.”

            “rural ridings are made to have smaller populations than urban ones (all the ridings for our 3 groups are urban)”

            Oh dear.   You still appear to be commenting on a piece that exists wholly in your imagination.

          • “rural ridings are made to have smaller populations than urban ones (all the ridings for our 3 groups are urban)” – what does this have to do with the point you are addressing (oe at least purporting to address)?
             
            The data I said he was ignoring are those urban ridings where minorities do not constitute a significant minority. If his theory were to hold true, then how does he account for these?
             
            There are more rdings with under-representation than the ones he chose. I’d also be curious to know how many of the thirteen ridings for each group are in fact the same ridings. I’m betting there’s some overlap – which would further reduce the number of under-represented ridings with significant visible minorities.
             
            “Because its conceivable to arrive at the same result regardless of intention.” (in reply to mt 3/5th comment) Wrong again; it was done to set the tone of the piece – to imply that the underpinnings of our democracy are inherently racist. If he didn’t want to set such a tone, he wouldn’t have led with that.
            Like I said, clearly you share his bias and propensity for BS.

          • “The data I said he was ignoring are those urban ridings where minorities do not constitute a significant minority. If his theory were to hold true, then how does he account for these?”

            Ignoring those ridings is problematic, how?

            ” it was done to set the tone of the piece”

            Yes.  That minorities are inadvertently underrepresented.
            Your attempts to pass off the imaginary results of your mind-reading as evidence are getting dull.

  2. Judging by the results of the last election, my vote is worth precisely nothing.

    • How much would it have been worth if the candidate of your choosing had won his/her riding?

      • That’s a better question but it’s one that needs to look at voter turn out and percentages.

        If he wants to argue that there’s inequality in representation, well that’s something I can get behind. Why should an urban MP be forced to represent more people than a rural MP? Balancing the competing desires of people gets ever more difficult the more people there are.

        But the value of a person’s vote depends on how many people voted, and who won. The guy who’s vote was 1 of 1000 cast is worth less than the guy who’s vote was 1 of 600 cast.. unless the first guy’s candidate won and the second guy’s didn’t. In which case it’s reversed. But either way, how many people are in the riding is irrelevant.

        Although.. thinking about it more, I realized my vote was actually worth $2.

        At least until Harper gets done taking even that value of it away.

  3. How about not really caring about the ethnic makeup of ridings, and drawing them with boundaries that make geographic sense within the population formulas laid down in law?

  4. It’s certainly worth more to a general contractor in Muskoka than most of the rest of us.

    • A Tony fan, I see!

      ;-)

      • He reminds me of old-school politicians from these here parts.  Ah, the golden age of graft was good to some high-level friends of the PCs and Liberals.  Tony’s just doing his part to keep the great Canadian tradition alive.

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