Memorandum presented to:
la Commission de la représentation électorale by
For immediate release
AffiliationQuebec would like to thank the Commission for hearing our presentation today.
We have asked to appear before you because of our deep concern in the interests of fair and equitable representation for all individuals in the Quebec election process.
For many of us, the principle of:
One person – One vote
is both self evident, and essentially a motherhood statement.
However in Quebec in the year of 2008, based on electoral counties as they exist, and with the variances allowed under the electoral law for the sizing of counties, one could be forgiven for being able to postulate that it takes the weight if roughly three urban votes to equal only two rural votes.
Counties or ridings as they are often referred to, originally got the appellation of ridings, because they were based on the distance one could travel in a day of riding by horse.
But in this modern day and age, even here in the Province of Quebec, with automobiles, airplanes, busses, telephones, cell phones, internet, faxes, and especially with the advent of computers, there is basically no valid reason that there should be any appreciable tolerance in the numerical size of almost any Quebec electoral district, except for one or two.
Disenfranchisement of voters and/or their right to proper representation can be represented in several ways, from unbalanced constituencies, to gerrymandered boundaries.
As only one example, I offer to you the traditional county of Westmount, which once was considered to be a representative English or minority constituency, which sent an identifiable and bilingual envoy to the National Assembly.
Alas, but no more, as Westmount has become so well gerrymandered over the years that it now shares its boundary with adjacent St. Henri, and no longer sends a minority representative to the legislature to speak for this heretofore clearly identifiable enclave of Montreal.
As I am sure the commissioners well realize, this example, and it is not alone, is one way to successfully conceal and contain some of Quebec's minority and cultural communities.
Careful action is required by the commissioners to safeguard the identifiable integrity of Quebec's minorities so they may avail themselves, if they so choose, of secure constituencies in which to select representative members to speak on their own behalf.
And finally, one short comment about the supervision of the electoral process, in the event Quebec proceeds to a subsequent referendum of its citizens on the future of this Province.
Given that the courts saw fit to deny full and open examination of the questioned ballots of the 1995 Quebec referendum, and the recent decision to permit destruction of those same very important ballots, will forever leave unresolved the unanswered questions of voter fraud in that close referendum contest.
That referendum debacle has tarnished the Quebec election process.
Too many people have lost confidence that if the next referendum is to be supervised under the same rules and system that permitted so many ballots to be rejected out of hand, without a full, open, transparent, and judicial review of the serious charges that were leveled, and never resolved….. that it could happen again, and in the very same way.
That said, unless judicial and unimpeachable national and international supervision of the next referendum in Quebec is to be undertaken and implemented with a process that will assure transparency and legitimacy, how will we be guaranteed that an honest process is implemented?
Allen E. Nutik, Leader/Chef
Allen E. Nutik, Leader/Chef