Regionalism in Canada

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Regionalism is a political ideology based on a collective sense of place or attachment, and is discussed in terms of Canadian society, culture, economy and politics (Westfall, 3). Canada is known internationally as a nation incorporating several multiregional interests and identities into its unification of culture. Its diverse population is comprised of numerous ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations and traditions; and all resides under one federal government. Ever since the founding of Canada, it has developed into regional cleavages and identities, based on various geographical topologies, lifestyles and economic interests (Westfall, 6). It is these characteristics which make it problematic for the federal government to represent…show more content…
The central provinces of Canada, Ontario and Quebec, are represented by 60% of the seats in the House of Commons and just under half the seats in the Senate. It is quite clear that the insufficiency of regional representation is such a controversial matter. An unelected Senate that no longer fulfils its mandate, and a House of Commons strongly influenced by provinces in ratio to their population, the validity of Parliament has become a great political concern and is a primary contributor to Canada’s existing regional tensions (Stilborn, 8).
The design of the electoral system is another great contributor to the rise of regional conflicts. Elections in Canada are based on a system known as the “first-past-the-post system” (Stilborn, 26). This system was created where constituents of all ridings are able to elect a single candidate as their representation within regards of their political party. In its essence, the candidate with the largest percentage of the vote in his or her respective riding receives the seat in the House of Commons. This system leads to a debate as to whether or not the outcomes of elections are truly representing party preference on the national scale. This debate is primarily based on the fact that candidates are able to win an election in a constituency, regardless if they received the majority vote or not. Also, the number of
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