Hello. My name is Mercy Anne Coles, and I am here on behalf of Prince Edward Island to discuss federalism in Confederation.
First off, I would like to address the political deadlock that we are currently stuck in. We believe that not every colony should have to confederate, and can decide whether or not it would benefit them. Every colony has its own needs, wants and fears. Those should not be overlooked just because the majority wants to confederate. Prince Edward Island, for example, is an economically stable colony. We have good trade relations with other colonies, and if we were to confederate, Rep by pop would not be a good thing for us as we are a small colony of only 80,857 people as of 1861.
On the topic of majority, we believe that double majority is not the way to pass bills. Canada east and Canada west get fair representation, however the maritimes do not get any. Also, double majority is one of the biggest causes of political deadlock. We believe that a better solution would be to count all of the votes from each colony and combine them, giving one single result.
Next, I would like to talk about loose fish in our parliament. These people, who don’t have their own opinions, are one of the main causes of political deadlock. While we do believe that confederation would be a solution to this, we also feel that there are other ways to handle the situation. For example, a voting system could be put in place where all of the colonies are represented, and a majority vote would result in a passing of a bill instead of a double majority.
As for the great coalition, we believe that it would be in everyone’s best interest to not form a coalition. The French and the English in Canada east and west, respectively, do not get along. Although it would solve political deadlock due to double majority, we believe that the pros would not outweigh the cons.
I have mentioned some solutions to political deadlock above, but by far the most affective in our opinion would be to become independent colonies. It would solve political deadlock, and would mean Rep by pop would no longer be an issue.