your vote counts – or does it?

I was a little bemused about Ontario wanting 21 extra MPs, so I did some sums to see how many MPs each province/territory should have:

2005 Population ‘Fair’ Ridings Actual Ridings %age over/under represented
Canada (total) 32,270,500 308 308  
Newfoundland and Labrador 516,000 5 7 +42%
Prince Edward Island 138,100 1 4 +203%
Nova Scotia 937,900 9 11 +23%
New Brunswick 752,000 7 10 +39%
Quebec 7,598,100 73 75 +3%
Ontario 12,541,400 120 106 -11%
Manitoba 1,177,600 11 14 +25%
Saskatchewan 994,100 9 14 +48%
Alberta 3,256,800 31 28 -10%
British Columbia 4,254,500 41 36 -11%
Yukon Territory 31,000 0 1 +238%
Northwest Territories 43,000 0 1 +144%
Nunavut 30,000 0 1 +249%

The population data is from StatsCan for 2005, and the riding counts from Wikipedia, and checked on CBC’s election 2006 site. My analysis is a bit simplistic; everyone counted as population gets the same federal representation.

Ontario, BC and Alberta are getting stiffed. Quebec is the fairest of them all. But if you really want your vote to count, and you can’t handle the Territories, move to PEI.

well, that was easy, maybe

Just did my citizenship test. 20 questions, two of which you must get right, three of which you must get at least one right, and fifteen non-mandatory questions. Pass mark is 12/20.

Seemed not very difficult, either:— who was the first prime minister, who can vote, when was the Charter introduced, when did Newfoundland & Labrador join the Confederacy, when did Nunavut become a territory; that sort of thing. To think I spent all that time worrying about natural resources, the third line of O Canada! and Lieutenant Governors (sings: Bartleman, Bartleman, Does everything a … hey, wait a minute, just what can a bartle do, anyway?).

It did dismay and astonish me how badly prepared some people were. About 5 out of the 40 people didn’t turn up, and maybe 10 people didn’t have the requisite papers. C’mon people, don’t you want to be Canadian?