Hon. Robert Ghiz, Blog Reader

It’s not every day that news of your European travels gets entered into the official record:

Hon. Robert Ghiz: I saw some familiar face who I don’t know if I’ve ever met with before, and I apologize if I get his last name wrong, but Peter — ah — Ru — kook — kooveena is his name Mr. Speaker and I followed on his website and I know he had a great tour, I think through Europe recently Mr. Speaker and I’m glad he was able to provide all that information for us Mr. Speaker.

(This is my unofficial transcript — Hansard doesn’t come out for two days). I was in the Legislative Assembly — my first trip to the public gallery in the 13 years we’ve been here! — to watch debate over the electoral boundaries issue. It was a good day to be in the chamber, with lots of hard-edged democracy flowing around (although a tad hot and humid — I understand why our legislative ancestors arranged to sit in the spring and fall).

It was ironic that it took 13 years to get me into the chamber itself, as I worked on the Legislative Assembly website for many years, set up the system for streaming audio broadcast of the proceedings, and have worked on the systems that manage the elections that see members ending up there.

I think, perhaps, I was afraid that seeing the actual workings up close — looking into the whites of their eyes, so to speak — would corrupt my impression of the institution. I am happy (and somewhat surprised) to report that it didn’t: despite what you might think of the current debate on electoral boundaries, that the institution exists at all, that it follows a set of rules that everyone agrees to abide, and that we all follow the laws it enacts seems like something of a miracle to me. Score one for faith in democracy.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my own MLA, Richard Brown, for also recognizing my presence and for saying some kind words about my work. Now if Richard can only get his leader to pronounce my name correctly…


Mandy's picture
Mandy on June 28, 2006 - 03:20 Permalink

Hope he’s not reading my blog.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on June 29, 2006 - 11:58 Permalink

(at the risk…) The electoral boundaries issue is tightly bound to this government. Don MacKinnon, who later became a cabinet minister in the Binns government, was the first serious protagonist in this. He took the government to court, and won, to have the districts balanced more ‘fairly’ on a population basis. At that time I was a member of CBC’s political panel and said, “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. If PEI was treated as we are about to treat our rural ridings then our entire province would become a small part of an average riding in NB.”

The city(s) get theirs no matter what else happens. The majority of procurement, senior positions, and political clout is based in the city and urban voters are, consequently, never going to be underrepresented. Canada itself is based on Federalism wherein desperate regions get special attention — why should PEI be any different.

Anyway, the chickens are comming home to roost and the feathers are beginning to get up the nasal passages. The only upside, as I see it, is that this issue is one that concerns elected officials and their croni… er, friends, more than the average voter.

(he wrote on his new-to-him MacBook Pro who’s geometry has FINALLY eliminated the mouse-pad problem due to its slightly smaller size — what a relief, I only had to type this once — down from the usual 3-5 times the other rig had cursed me to)