We’ve all heard about the wild, wild west of the 1800’s of the US. Canada’s west wasn’t quite as wild back then with more order than our southern neighbours. But up here, what leads to the weird, weird west are federal elections by time zones.
West of Ontario, is the smaller population in Canada. Ontario dominates the country with over 1/3 of the population and neighbour Quebec has roughly ¼. Combined with the Maritimes that means that about 60% of the country lives in the east, in the first two time zones.
Since elections are held at the same time of day in each zone, this means that the western voters know the results of the election before a lot of them have even voted.
This leads, I think, to a weirded out west that wants some measure of vengeance on eastern Canada.
The first thing this leads to is a dislike of the federal Liberal Party who are wildly popular in the east. West of Ontario, they are lucky to get a handful of seats in every election.
And then there is Alberta which likes to vote for the same band of guys. You might think this is incredibly boring but Albertans have made it interesting. Despite being a band of the same guys, the party they represent changes rather frequently. From Reform Party, to the Canadian Alliance, to the Conservative Party, Albertans have a unique way of keeping the same old band fresh.
Then there is BC. They are so weirded out, way out there that they will elect anything. Even sometimes a Liberal. Even (in my memory anyways), a Socred (that’s Social Credit to the uninformed). I expect the Green Party to make its breakthrough there next election and win at least a seat. The problem with the last election was that the Greens forgot to say ‘Pot is Green’. Whoops! Did I capitalize a word accidentally? Guess I want a Green Party breakthrough in BC.
What? You thought I could mention BC and not make a pot joke? You have far too much respect for this blog.