George Brown was Canada's most ardent advocate for representation by population, the basic principle by which political representation is inextricably tied to population. His clarion call was simple and to the point: "Representation by population. Justice for Upper Canada!" (quoted in Lewis, 75). It was a simple matter of justice and fairness. For the rest of his political career and through the rest of his life - until his untimely death - Brown was consistent in his pleas for fair representation for Upper Canada.
That demand remained a central feature of Brown's reformist movement and its most prominent demand. In the Legislative Assembly Brown frequently gave voice to the under-represented people of Upper Canada. Rising in that Chamber, Brown articulated the problem:
"The people of Upper Canada have bitterly complained that though they numbered four hundred thousand souls more than the population of Lower Canada, and though they have contributed three or four pounds to the general revenue for every pound contribute by the sister province, yet the Lower Canadians send to parliament as many representatives as they do" (in Ajzenstat, 115)
As John Lewis, Brown's biographer, notes of the objections at the time, opponents argued that Lower Canadians had "submitted to injustice while they had a larger population, and that the Upper Canadians ought to follow their example" (Lewis, 84). A second objection, more formidable Lewis notes, argued that that very nature of the compact between French and English was premised upon equal representation and thus this would be shattered by representation by population.
Christopher Moore, while wrong in claiming Brown to be "the Preston Manning of his day" (a claim as inaccurate as it is insulting to Brown), correctly reflects the prevailing negative opinion against him. He notes that opponents labelled the scheme as "fanatical and bigoted. They would sow dissension among the founding peoples and divide the regions one from another. Pushed to their logical consequences, they would destroy the union" (Moore, 1). Rep-by-Pop would drive an irremovable wedge between peoples and undermine the foundations of Canada's fragile union.