I don't know how the boundaries of ridings are decided, but it seems to me that some are deliberately drawn so as to ensure that a fair swath of the populace is disenfranchised.
Take Saskatoon-Humboldt. It's described as half-urban, half rural. From the spring election:
“You have to represent all of your constituents, not just those who agree with you and think the same as you,” Mr. Hill said, adding: “I think anybody looking to highlight [social conservative issues] and put them front and centre is going to end up hurting the campaign.”
The flaw, Mr. Kouri says, lies in the riding’s design. All of Saskatoon is carved up into sections that are combined with rural swaths, rather than having strictly urban ridings. “People in Saskatoon don’t feel they’re represented at all. It’s all social conservatism, and that’s not what they want representing them,” said Ms. Kouri . . .
But representing all his constituents is not how Head Fetus Fetishist Brad Trost sees things (bold mine):
Trost says he's not attacking the government but criticizing one decision. And he says he owes it to his constituents to be honest.
"Ultimately, I have the backing of my constituency association and the Conservatives there. That's who I represent. Because I've been vocal on this issue before, I owe them my democratic voice. I also owe my democratic voice to people who disagree with me so they know honestly whether or not to vote for or against me in the next election. It's the proper thing to do."
Isn't this refrain getting tedious? 'I/we/our party won, so suck it up, buttercup'.
And it's not like Saskatoon-Humboldt is any kind of Contempt Party stronghold.
In 2004, in what was the closest 4-way race in the country, Trost received 417 more votes than second place candidate, the NDP's Nettie Wiebe, 435 votes ahead of the third place candidate, Liberal Patrick Wolfe, and 2368 votes ahead of former Canadian Alliance Member of Parliament Jim Pankiw.
Trost was re-elected, in 2006, 2008, and 2011 earning between 50-53% of the vote defeating the second place NDP, and the third place Liberals in Saskatoon-Humboldt in each election.
The good citizens there have elected members from all parties. (OK, not the Bloc Québécois.)
If I were a resident of Saskatoon-Humboldt, I'd be on a phone, fax, email and letter-writing campaign. And not just in vehement disagreement with Trost's misogynist racist Christianism.
But because, despite Stevie Peevie's 'strong, stable majority', Trost is going to have absolute zero influence in the ruling caucus (bold mine again).
The headline read, "Government apathetic on abortion," according to Saskatoon Humboldt Conservative MP Brad Trost, a social conservative never afraid to poke the delicate issue of abortion.
Trost even demonstrated earlier this spring during the federal election campaign that he was prepared to discomfort his leader, the prime minister, and create considerable political risk in Central Canada that the Conservative party was intolerant on social issues.
Another headline came to mind: "Prime minister not apathetic about disloyal MPs." Trost's already light political capital inside the Tory caucus has moved to featherweight status.
Congratulations, Saskatoon-Humboldt. You've elected a bozo with as much federal clout as a Bloquist.
In related news, Planned Parenthood is fighting back.
Canadian funding for contraception programs will help cut the number of abortions in developing countries, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood said Thursday.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation is hitting back at a Conservative MP who's urging the government to cut the group's funding, pointing to new research that shows cutting contraception programs leads to more abortions.
On Wednesday, Conservative MP Brad Trost said anti-abortion activists should be more aggressive to force the government to pay attention to their campaign. He also reiterated his opposition to any funding for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which the government has approved for $6 million in funding for contraception and sex education programs in five developing countries.
Trost says the group shouldn't get any Canadian government money because they provide abortions in countries where it's legal.
The Canadian money is for projects that will provide contraception and sex education in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan and Tanzania. None of the money will go to abortions.
A spokesman for Planned Parenthood said research shows how much those programs are needed.
"If Brad Trost’s position were taken up and that funding was removed entirely, and those family planning programs had to be scrapped, then that leaves women very vulnerable to unwanted pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy," Paul Bell said.
"All the research shows that, regardless of the situation in a country, a woman, if she finds herself in a position where she needs an abortion, she will have an abortion, whether it’s safe or unsafe."
Bell pointed to a study released Tuesday by a research centre at Stanford University that looked at data from 260,000 women in sub-Saharan Africa between 1994 and 2008.
From 2001 to 2008, the U.S. government eliminated funding for groups like Planned Parenthood that offered abortion, along with contraception and other women's health services, which forced them to close clinics.
The researchers found that the number of abortions rose in those years over the previous seven years, as much as two-and-a-half times in some countries.
Ah yes, the fundie-driven Global Gag Rule. That worked out well, didn't it?
BREAKING: Former King Fetus Fetishist Maurice Vellacott tries to wrestle his crown back with this media release (PDF).
MORE BREAKING: Leon Benoit joins in to slag Margaret Sanger. *Le sigh.*
Image source. Aw, praying. Isn't that special?