Still Not Equal? Visible Minority Vote Dilution in Canada

Michael Pal, Sujit Choudhry


This article takes the long-standing fact of deviations from the principle of representation by population in Canada as the starting point and asks whether the consequence is the dilution of visible minority votes. It calculates visible minority voting power and compares it to the voting strength of voters who are not visible minorities for the 2004 federal electoral map using 2006 Census data and for provincial electoral districts. We conclude that vote dilution exists and is concentrated in the ridings with the largest proportions of visible minorities. Visible minority vote dilution carries special significance in light of demographic, policy and constitutional considerations. The article concludes by offering some suggestions for how the electoral boundary commissions that set the contours of ridings can address visible minority vote dilution, as well as possible legislative amendments.


Visible minorities; vote dilution; representation; Fair Representation Act; voting rights

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@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125