Alberta and BC elect more Conservatives than Ontario

In today’s column, Andrew Coyne examines the Conservative government’s decision to increase parliamentary representation in line with population growth for Alberta and BC, but not for Ontario. He suggests that this move is designed to appease Quebec, while steering clear of the obvious motive: additional Alberta/BC ridings are far more likely than additional Ontario ridings to elect Conservatives.

PS – My less plausible “conspiracy theory” is that this decision is a reward for signing TILMA, the Alberta-BC agreement with which the federal Conservatives seem enamoured.


  • Wouldn’t BC, at least in a lot of urban and semi-urban places around Vancouver and Victoria, be just as likely to elect New Democrats?

  • Adding seats in BC may well help the NDP, but is more likely to help the Conservatives than adding seats in Ontario.

    In the last federal election, Conservatives won almost half of the seats in BC but closer to a third of those in Ontario. Toronto has no Conservatives among its 23 MPs, while Greater Vancouver has 7 Conservatives among its 18 MPs (although Emerson was elected as a Liberal).

    Of course, much depends upon exactly where the seats are added and how the boundaries are redrawn.

  • I agree with Erin. Around greater Vancouver and in the city centre, there is alot more 3 way races, where in Toronto, for instance, its mostly NDP and libs competing. Overall, Ontarians in urban centres and growth areas tend to vote more progressively.

  • I just didn’t want all of the west to be completely written off. (And, I don’t really see Liberals as being that progressive necessarily, particularly some of the Ontario Liberals who are quite socially regressive – anti-gay, anti-choice, etc.)

    The real split in Canadian politics in an urban/rural one – which is why it would be best to see all those rural tack-ons to mostly urban seats in BC and Alberta be eliminated so ridings are more homogenous and representation is more accurate. I’m not confident the Cons will do that (those rural tack-ons have gotten them elected in more than a few places they might not otherwise have been) but that would be the best case scenario.

  • As I have posted many times on this blog, I do not regard the Liberals as necessarily being more progressive than the Conservatives. As a westerner, I have no intention of writing-off the west. In fact, I see it as a likely area of NDP growth. My point above was simply that Conservative strategy is presumably to elect more Conservatives rather than to create more Liberal seats in and around Toronto.

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