Home > BC Liberals, British Columbia Politics, Northern BC > Preliminary Redistribution Report & BC’s North

Preliminary Redistribution Report & BC’s North

August 15, 2007

The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission released its preliminary report today. For a quick overall summary: it recommends increasing the number of MLA from 79 to 81, taking away 1 MLA each from the North, Cariboo-Thompson and, Kootenay regions, giving 1 MLA to the Okanagan, and giving 4 MLAs to the Lower Mainland. As well, STV boundaries have been drawn up.

However, since this blog is called “Northern BC Dipper”, I’ll be focusing on its effect on the North.

Contents
The Maps – SMP
General Thoughts on the Effects of on the North
BC Liberal Civil Wars
STV: Only Southern British Columbians deserve proportionality

The Maps – SMP

currentnorthernconstituencies.jpg

General Thoughts on the Effects of on the North

Well, I guess I’ve known for a long time that the redistribution would hurt the North, but still, seeing this map for the first time was a shock. The number of seats have been reduced from 8 to 7. Personally, I still think that the commission should have raised the seats to the maximum of 85, so that there would have not have been such a loss of seats to the Northern regions.

Of course, they had to take away the seat from my hometown – Prince George. Prince George at present has 3 seats, but it will be reduced to 2. I’m also not very pleased about how the Prince George area was redistributed, with Downtown and Southern Prince George being the constituency of Prince George, and Northern Prince George and the area around Prince George being the constituency of Fraser-Fort George. This type of distribution goes against the previous history of the area (and the wishes of the people present at the Prince George consultation, I might add!), in which Prince George and its outlying regions divided equally. I can’t say changing 3 urban-rural constituencies to 1 rural constituency and 1 urban constituency impresses me much.

BC Liberal Civil Wars

Since the Prince George area is losing a seat, it should provide some interesting nomination battles for the BC Liberals. Right now, the BC Liberals hold 3 seats: Minister of Agriculture Pat Bell in PG North, Deputy Premier and Minister of Education Shirley Bond, in PG – Mt. Robson, and Backbencher John Rustad in PG – Omineca. With only 2 seats in the future, one of these people are not going to be able to run for a seat in the next Provincial Election.

STV: Only Southern British Columbians deserve proportionality

Having a look at the proposed STV ridings for the North, I have to say that I cannot support BC-STV in 2009. Why? Because out of the proposed constituencies, North Central has 3 seats, Northwest has 2 seats, and Northeast has 2 seats. To have proportionality, a STV constituency must have at least 5 seats. If STV is not going to give proportionality to the North and basically give out the same results, there is no point in switching from SMP. Wake me up when they propose an electoral system that is fair and proportional for the North.

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  1. August 15, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Damn NBC, looks like we’re getting screwed over (again). This’ll seriously make me think twice about STV.

    Why couldn’t they just leave the number of Northern BC ridings alone (and instead just increase the number of MLAs in other places to ensure rep-by-pop) rather than cherry-picking and moving ridings.

  2. August 15, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    And hopefully, Northern BC redistribution will get some attention in the blogosphere: http://pgliberal.blogspot.com/2007/08/follow-up-on-ontario-mmp-bc-stv.html.

  3. macadavy
    August 15, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    We know First-Past-the-Post has got to go, but STV stinks! Go here & read this: http://billtieleman.blogspot.com/2007/08/know-stv-says-new-bc-electoral.html
    So what do we have to do to get a decent MMP system like Ontario’s voting on this Fall?

  4. bza
    August 16, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    i thought having a prince george riding on its own might make more sense. when i see the city split into 3 urban/rural strips, it reminds me of the wonky setup they have in regina and saskatoon where there are 8 ridings quartering the two cities between urban and rural.

    would make more sense to have distinct urban and rural seats i would think. though i would be interested to know why people in prince george would prefer that arrangement.

  5. Northern BC Dipper
    August 16, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    bza,

    It is so much easier to have the 3 urban/rural Constituencies.

    In both of the current setup and the proposed setup, the MLA and Constituency Associations for all 3/2 constituencies will be based in Prince George.

    But with the current setup, one MLA/constituency association can focus on North Prince George and the communities north of PG, another MLA/constituency association can focus on Southeast PG and the communities to the East, and MLA/constituency association can focus on Southwest PG and the communities west.

    In the new setup, one MLA/constituency association can focus on Downtown/South Prince George, making that MLA/constituency association lives much easier. The other MLA/constituency association, however, will have a harder time representing/campaigning, as they have to travel to Northern Prince George, North of PG, and East of PG.

    In short, the current setup distributes traveling time and costs fairly between all constituencies, making them much easier to represent the the new proposed setup.

  6. August 17, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    The BC-EBC could have increased the number of MLAs by six to 85 and place those 6 MLAs where needed and leave the other MLAs more or less alone. Instead they only added 2 and moved around other ridings.

    My feeling is that they decided to do this to avoid a public backlash about adding “more politicians” (adding 6 more MLAs would cost about $1 million at least).

    Incidently, NBC, will you attending the BC-EBC consultation on Sept. 5th?

  7. August 20, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Well NBCDipper and PGLiberal..

    I think we should all plan to attend the meeting on September 5th.. I know I intend to.. I think this SUCKS big time. I hate it. Adding seats is fine by me. Taking seats away doesn’t sit well at all with me.

    As I said before, any legislation has always added seats, but never taken away. Taking seats away is political suicide for any party in power.

    Time to be ‘the squeaky wheel’..

    Shawn

  8. Wendy Bergerud
    August 28, 2007 at 8:52 am

    NBC Dipper: There are two kinds of proportionality to consider with STV: the proportionality within a riding (of course this is better the greater the number of MLAs there) and the overall provincial proportionality. While the 2 and 3 member ridings will not be very proportional for the north they are going to provide better results than the single member ridings we have now.

    The most important consequence is that each riding is likely to have an MLA from the both the governing party AND the opposition. This means that both sides of the house have an incentive to consider the issues within that riding.

    Further, the north will be contributing to the overall proportionality of the provincial election results – when we debated on the minimum riding size, this had been important to many members of the Citizens’ Assembly who had been selected from northern ridings.

  9. Northern BC Dipper
    August 28, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Wendy,

    But the key is, why should a Southerner have more proportionality than a Northerner?

    This key fact shows that STV is a electoral system developed for the benefit of Southerners at the expense of the North. I support electoral change to have a fairer politicial system, not increase disparity between regions.

  1. February 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm
  2. February 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm
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