Might as well 0
To the Editor,
RE: Echo Oct. 2
Councillors oppose riding revamp
They might as well because Haliburton County is the only coherent entity remaining among the parts of other counties tacked on. There is that part of the County of Peterborough comprising Cavendish in the far south east, and that part in the south west of the regional Municipality of Durham comprising Brock and Scugog and Uxbridge on the edge of Oshawa just down the road, and that part of the regional Municipality of Kawartha Lakes but just the rural parts in the north. How can any coherent riding form around that mishmash of little towns on the periphery of larger centres beyond the new borders?
Haliburton/Uxbridge does not have the centre of gravity Lindsay used to provide, and it’s not a lot smaller in population than before. Kawartha Lakes/Port Hope/Cobourg has about the same population but is much more compact. Our western neighbour, Parry Sound Muskoka is substantially smaller in population and largely untouched in shape.
It is difficult to resist the logic, however, that emphasizes a riding for a single representative with about the same number of voters as the rest. Its just the way we have done things for a long time and now Haliburton gets an unsatisfactory makeover from a dispassionate electoral commission that only counts numbers following an unimaginative timeworn formula, the single member constituency.
Few other ridings, except the sprawling new Lanark/Frontenac/Hastings, our eastern neighbour, will be so drastically reshaped. There will likely be little opposition to the changes from other ridings. The commission has done as good a job as they could drawing more lines on the map. The old principles will unfortunately prevail unchallenged, but they are the source of the problem.
By the way, the best source for information about redistribution is the Ontario Commission’s own website at www.redecoupage-federal-redistributuon.ca. It would seem that the process is expected to proceed without a lot of effort to involve or educate the electorate, but that’s another problem.