Sunday, November 14, 2010

Urban Rural Divide

I recommend reading the BBC article, Viewpoint: How urban-rural divide sways US politics, which talks about the urban-rural divide in politics in Seattle vs. Washington state.

It got me to thinking.

Given that I am an urban dweller, frequently blamed for the demoralization of Canadian society, I wonder if it is time for urban dwellers to organize into associations to counterbalance the over representation by rural dwellers? We carry the weight of Confederation after all and I don't see electoral reform coming any time soon.

How long before the camel's back breaks? While it's true that farmers feed cities, cities feed farmers ...


Tomm said...

Wow, You pull from some Brits theoretical musings to suggest Canadian progressive's begin a culture war. (pardon the quantum but accurate leaps in logic)

Love it. You quote from:

"...Country versus city

At issue is the fundamental question of mankind's relationship with nature.

To many country dwellers, the mountains, plains, forests, and rivers of the state are a limitless resource of arable and grazing land, precious metals, timber and hydroelectricity - and some of the pious among them like to quote the Book of Genesis, in which God is said to give man "dominion" over "all the earth".

To environmental activists (usually described by the ruralists as "Seattle liberals"), the magnificent geography of Washington state is a sacred space, a wilderness to be lovingly preserved and restored, as closely as possible, to its original "pristine" state..."

I can certainly see how the urbanista's social breeding makes them a better citizen than the wood butchers, and land rippers from the country.

But just maybe it's not quite like that. Why don't you move to Melfort for a year to see for yourself?

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

Canada's new conservatives have started the culture war, I'm merely suggesting that we stand up for ourselves.

Rural dwellers are represented disproportionately more in parliament, and receive more in services despite delivering less in taxes.

I think we need to govern cooperatively, but rural dwellers have said no.

I don't want to live in Melfort.

Tomm said...


I think you would find that there is precious little that differs urban and rural Canadian's. Certainly not intelligence or land ethic.

I would suggest that urban people live in a "bubble". A perfect example is the inability of many urban voters to not care if rural Canadian's feel the long gun registry is an arrogant mis-step.

Humility would take the Liberal Party of Canada a long way. Why didn't they show that humility by respecting rural Canadian's on issues like the gun registry?

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

First you attack with derision and condescension, then you appeal to some joint common reason that should be self-evident. The hallmarks of rural fundamentalism; "Don't Tread on Me" and "My mama told me ..." claptrap.

I don't particularly care about the gun registry or the politics of the Liberal Party so feel free to natter on.

Rural Canada wields a disproportionate amount of power, and receives a disproportionate amount of support from urban Canada.

Rural Canada does not want to surrender that power either ... why would they?

I'm tired of it. I'm just waking people up to it.

Tomm said...


You aren't even making sense.

Where is the worst representation? The west, and suburban Ontario.

Where is our government over-represented? The north, the maritimes, and Quebec. How does this balance as some mythical urban rural split? Especially where, in your mind, urban Canada is the loser?

What is your real beef?

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

A lack of proportional representation is my beef.

Tomm said...

If your beef is a lack of proportional representation than join with the old reformers. That was at the top of their flag pole. The Senate was #1 (remember Triple "E"), and second was proportional representation in the House.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

I don't particularly care for the old reformers on a lot of policy issues (social and otherwise), but the old reformer electoral reform polices died when Preston Manning left politics.

Tomm said...

I was never much of a "Reformer" but I too must agree with some of their original policies. They were quite progressive in many areas including multi-culturalism, and a new way of looking at aboriginal Canadian's. I find the mechanisms we've built to be incredibly paternalistic and hugely damaging to aboriginal Canadian's. The "reserves" should have been abolished 70 years ago, if in fact they EVER had a useful function.

In researching this post I ran into a thesis ( that has left me thinking that Canadian's have gotten significantly more conservatiuve in the last 16 years. Much of what the Conservative's seem to lean towards were planks in the Reform platform in 1993. Except today, the public is much more in-line with many of those positions.