by Hilary Clark Wednesday October 10, 2012

Really, this one’s not just for the geeks. It’s that time again when we redraw the federal electoral boundaries for the country. While that happens every 10 years after the census numbers are in, this year it comes with a big, flashing red light for Ontario because – drumroll please, for those who haven’t heard – this time around we’re getting 15 new seats added to the province’s tally in Ottawa.

Many have strong opinions about this. Some, like the folks behind Voter Equality, argue that the principle of representation by population should be pursued first and foremost. Others want geographic uniqueness respected. And still others worry about “communities of interest,” and that traditional voting blocs be maintained. The program on Wednesday, October 10 included a panel discussion -- embedded above -- about the proposed new boundaries, and an interview with the chair of the 2012 Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, the Honourable George Valin -- embedded below. The commission has just started its hearings across the province to get your feedback on the new map - they want to know what you think, and so do we. Have a look at the existing and proposed boundaries, and then give us your thoughts below, or on Facebook, or on Twitter, via either @TheAgenda or @hilarygclark.

If you wanted to give your input directly to the 2012 Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, the deadline to register was October 1. But fear not if you missed it. We will be collecting written input from viewers and submitting it to the commission as one document. So if you'd like to get your feedback to the Commission itself, please send your submission to me (hclark@tvo.org) and follow these simple ground rules:

• You must include your name, address and contact information
• Please state the organization you represent (if any)
• Please be concise, and if there's a specific riding you're interested in commenting on, please state it clearly in your heading.

I will compile these and forward them to the Commission where they will be public and available for anyone to view. Please be sure to send them to me before November 9, 2012.

Also, anyone can attend the hearings -- so check the Commission's travel itinerary here to see when they will be in a town near you. They are on the road from October 9 through November 15, 2012.