Thursday, August 16, 2007

Electoral Boundaries Commision

Their report is out. They suggested that going to 85 MLAs would not make much difference to the rural representation, but in looking at it, I think it does.

Once one moves to 85 instead of 81 MLAs, the district population quota falls to 48394, at -25% this is 36295. The three Kootenay ridings have a population of 144827, divided four ways this is 36100, just under the population needed to have four ridings. If one moves the boundary country back into the Kootenaies, well, only Area 'C' of the Boundary Kootenay regional district. This would move over 1450 people and allow there to be four Kootenay ridings.

The Cariboo-Thompson has a total population fo 189128, divided five ways this is 37826, so within the -25% limit. How does one achieve this? I would centre three ridings around Kamloops taking Merritt, Logan Lake and TNRD Area 'M' and 'N' into the Kamloops riding. The other two ridings you would have to take more lands from Williams Lake and move them south, about 7500 people, but this is not unrealistic.

In the North it is hard to figure out how to add another riding without dropping the population much too low in all of the ridings. I like the fact that they only chose to allow two special circumstances ridings.

The total population is 256579 people, over 8 ridings this would be 32110 people, well below the -25%. If one factors out the two special circumstance ridings, this leaves 209863 for an average of 34977 over 6 ridings, still too small.

The only way to achieve an extra one in the north is to create one more special circumstance riding of about 25 000 people. I would argue that Skeena Stikine should be the other special circumstances. By moving the Hazeltons to Bulkley Nechako this could be achieved. You then move some of the area around Vanderhoof to the Prince George area. Prince George and region would then have three ridings.

I realize that suggesting this for the north is stretch.

You would have to make some changes elsewhere in BC once you move to 85 ridings. Richmond Steveston would be marginally too high in population, but a small change there would drop the into the correct range.

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