We like to think of political ridings as tight little pockets of community where people share values and ideas, and elect a representative who will carry those values and ideals to Ottawa.
Reality, of course, is something far different.
And you should think about that before you get too excited about a proposed federal electoral boundary that will lop the ‘Cowichan’ off the bottom of Nanaimo-Cowichan, and take all but a tiny sliver of the Nanaimo out of what is now Nanaimo-Alberni.
Federal electoral boundaries may attempt to take into account such things as geography and culture.
But in reality they are purely political constructs built with the overriding factor of fair representation by population.
For Nanaimo voters, it seems to make good sense to have city voters casting ballots together, rather than split down the middle by an arbitrary line that has neighbours represented by different members in Ottawa.
But most of the noise you will hear will be political posturing.
The fact of the matter is we are all Canadians and Vancouver Islanders, and we will all get one vote.
That vote will influence what political party gets control of our country and what person will be your conduit to those corridors of powers.
And, ultimately, that comes down to the candidates themselves.
Whether your neighbours to the north or the south share in your selection ultimately won’t matter much at all.
Certainly the ridings won’t become so sprawling the change will suddenly make your MP inaccessible.
If the boundary shuffle results in a more equitable Parliamentary breakdown and fair representation, it gets our full support.
– Black Press