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Author Topic: Creating an aboriginal-majority riding in Northern Ontario
Krago
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posted 27 September 2005 01:30 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bi ll blows chance to give aboriginals a voice

Bill 214, which would redraw Ontario's provincial electoral districts, is currently being discussed by a committee at Queen's Park. Ian Urquhart of the Toronto Star thinks a riding should be drawn north of the 50th parallel to create an aboriginal-majority seat at Queen's Park. This riding would have only a quarter of the population of an average Ontario riding (110,000).

Is this a good idea, or just a token gesture excluding thousands of First Nations people living elsewhere in Ontario?

[ 28 September 2005: Message edited by: Krago ]


From: The Royal City | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 27 September 2005 01:36 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Do you have another proposal in mind, or do you simply prefer the status quo?
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
RP.
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posted 27 September 2005 01:52 PM      Profile for RP.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
PEI is considering a similar proposal, with a provincial riding that encompasses the largest Acadian community (the Evangeline region).

There are at least three other Acadian communities, not to mention the interspersal of francophones across the Island. I don't think that the creation of an Evangeline riding would take anything away from other French speaking Islanders.

In both the PEI and Ontario examples, I say creating those ridings is a step in the right direction. It might be harder for PEI to go any further, but Ontario should definitely look into how much further they could take this idea.


From: I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Krago
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posted 27 September 2005 04:07 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If Ontario is serious about providing representation in the legislature for First Nations, then it needs to come up with a proposal after consulting with them, not just by handing them a fait accompli.
From: The Royal City | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
MartinArendt
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posted 27 September 2005 05:34 PM      Profile for MartinArendt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I don't know...it seems a bit tokenistic, but what are some other proposals?

Is the idea of 'self-governance' on the table, and how would that operate?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 27 September 2005 05:40 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Krago:
If Ontario is serious about providing representation in the legislature for First Nations, then it needs to come up with a proposal after consulting with them . .

Indeed. And the opportunity is almost here, since the Ontario Citizens Assembly will be up and running by next spring, if not earlier.

If Ontario's First Nations want a separate voters roll like the Maoris have in New Zealand, then with (say) 169,000 status Indians in Ontario (both on-reserve and off-reserve), if they all choose to be on the separate voters roll, that's 1.58 ridings. Should non-status Indians also be allowed to choose to be on the aboriginal voters roll? How many of the 308,000 total would choose to? Say 2 First Nations ridings, with similar numbers, which might work out as one in the North and one in the South. If they are going to request this, now would be a good time. Although they could do it later, if they prefer to wait and see the shape of the new system (if the new system is approved in the referendum) before deciding which way to go.

This idea has been discussed for some years, off and on. I have no idea if Ontario First Nations people are interested. Does anyone know?

[ 27 September 2005: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 28 September 2005 05:26 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why not implement mixed-member proportionality? The aboriginal-majority riding smacks of tokenism complete with all the defects of the first-past-the-post system. Republicans do this in the States a lot where they create one Dem majority seat that's a lock for ever and ever, and the remainder are 55% Repub which is all you need to grab the rest of the area.

Again, rank tokenism and power grabbing.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 28 September 2005 12:01 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had the same initial reaction as Dr. Conway. This reminds me of the move to create black majority congressional districts in the US a few years ago. Initially the Democrats pushed the idea while the Republicans fought it viciously, claiming "quotas" and "reverse discrimination" and all the usual bullshit. But then they figured out that for every majority black district that was created, two or three very white, republican-leaning districts were created around it. Ghettoizing black voters into a few majority black districts was one factor that helped the Republicans win the South from the Democrats in '94, and they haven't looked back since.

As for alternative ideas, I think that some form of mixed-member proportional representation with parties required to represent diversity at least on their party lists is a far better way to go. Also, even under the current system there really is no good reason why a party can't nominate an aboriginal or other minority candidate just because the majority of the population in a given riding is white. I do recall we has some sort of discussion about this recently when a prominent First Nations activist woman ran for the federal NDP nomination in Toronto Center, although I don't believe she was successful.

[ 28 September 2005: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
bodhitrees
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posted 28 September 2005 04:11 PM      Profile for bodhitrees        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It seems to me if a group wants to in a first past the post system want to be elected a majority of the voters( not would be voters)
must be convinced to vote in favour or vote not in favour of the other candidate.
The boundaries of a district or riding can back fire on a strident minority concern,as pointed out by ghettoizing them group inside demarcation,that said why not draw a riding that is the whole province and have the option of voting pro/con in that whole province riding instead of local districts.If a voter votes province riding then could vote local also? Just thinking maybe this has been tried elsewhere.
Alternately ,populating one district with one affinity group say ,or a special interest group may get to a critical mass where a candidate representing the concern will get elected.
The black panthers in the 60's proposed a black migration to a state and overwhelm the state with like minded voters.
A district drawn in Ont. to include the north plus enough to get that 110 thousand might back fire and ghettoize the norrth to a silent weak position.

From: canada west | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
FourteenRivers
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posted 28 September 2005 07:05 PM      Profile for FourteenRivers        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We need a new political system, like the one in New Zealand. It is a disgrace that the First Nations have no real representation in Canada, especially given the original genocide against them. In new Zealand the Maori people are given fair representation and ammends are ongoing.
From: Quebec | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
chubbybear
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posted 28 September 2005 07:23 PM      Profile for chubbybear        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FourteenRivers:
We need a new political system, like the one in New Zealand. It is a disgrace that the First Nations have no real representation in Canada, especially given the original genocide against them. In new Zealand the Maori people are given fair representation and ammends are ongoing.
Hear, hear.

From: nowhere | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged

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