Xtra: A busy day of Grindr and Federal Politics

Unfortunately, the two subjects do not intersect.

It was a busy day for me at Xtra, with two stories. The first, and probably more important to the real world story is my analysis of the final proposal for federal riding boundary adjustments. The good news is that the commission seems to have really listened to the submissions from deputants at the public hearings. The Village has been maintained whole in Toronto Centre.

The proposed new riding of Mount Pleasant — which some had guessed was designed to finally give the Conservatives a competitive riding in downtown Toronto — has been scrapped. In its place is a new riding called Spadina–Fort York, which includes the central Waterfront, Chinatown, and the part of the city south of Dundas and west of Bay.

The proposed redistribution for downtown Toronto

The proposed redistribution for downtown Toronto

Another new riding, University–Rosedale, replaces Trinity–Spadina. It includes the entire University of Toronto campus, the Annex, Rosedale, Moore Park, and the part of the city east of Ossington between the rail tracks and Dundas. While Chow had a lock on nearly all the polls here in 2011, I imagine she can’t be happy about fighting for Rosedale. Conversely, I can’t imagine the people of Rosedale being happy about being lumped together with the students and hippies. To be honest, the only arrangement for Rosedale that makes sense to me would be was the proposed Mount Pleasant arrangement that attached it to parts of St. Paul’s to the North. This is ultimately the problem of the single-member first-past-the-post system — entire neighbourhoods can be effectively disenfranchised t

hrough riding design (ie, if Chow can win 60% of the rest of the riding, why even bother campaigning in Rosedale?).

Over in my story at Xtra, I elaborate on what this may mean for the Liberals and NDP in downtown Toronto.

Meanwhile, I also posted a review/interview with Jaime Woo for his new book Meet Grindr: How One App Changed The Way We Connect. I managed to read the book while I was in New York over the weekend (where I was performing in Paul Hutcheson’s Canuck Cabaret at the Frigid New York Theatre Festival).

Jaime has some interesting theories about how Grindr is actually a video game with rules about how to play, score, and win. Check out the article. The book’s worth reading too.


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