Talking electoral reform

To the Editor

A friend and I met with Jamie Schmale the Conservative MP for this riding for an hour on Friday morning. We discussed the issues around creating a more proportional system of electoral reform which would probably involve a modest increase in the size of the Commons by about 13 to 15 per cent from 338 seats to 388 in one proposal. This is an increase of about 50 and some people balk at this idea. They claim we have enough politicians already.

But consider that this riding has about 91000 constituents so it is difficult to represent all well especially when compared to any of the four ridings in P.E.I. which have about 30000 or less each.

Now the current 338 ridings in Canada vary widely not only in population but also in geography.

Cardigan in P.E.I. is less than a third the size of Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Brock. This is another argument for adding MPs to the commons at least in large ridings and at the same time adding some proportionality to the currently distorted representation with which we are plagued.

This meeting I mentioned was the second of three for the MP that morning. I don’t know about his afternoon but it was Friday and he was away from home. Surely we can dispose of the complaint of more politicians in the discussion of proportional representation.

My friend and I appreciated Jamie Schmale spending valuable time with us. We discussed a very important issue.

Jim Milne