Download Commissioned Ridings: Designing Canada’s Electoral Districts by John C. Courtney PDF

By John C. Courtney

The place did the belief for nonpartisan constituency redistributions come from? What have been the primary purposes that Canada grew to become to arm's-length commissions to layout its electoral districts? In "Commissioned Ridings", John Courtney addresses those questions through studying and assessing the readjustment procedure in Canada's electoral barriers. Defining electoral districts as representational development blocks, Courtney compares federal and provincial electoral readjustments within the final 1/2 the 20th century, exhibiting how parliamentarians and legislators, boundary commissions, courts, and participants of most people debated representational rules to outline the needs of electoral redistricting in an more and more city, ethnically combined federal nation resembling Canada. Courtney analyses boundary commissions - their club, measure of independence, and powers. He explores the participation of the general public and politicians within the deliberation of the commissions, in addition to the level to which Canada's ridings have moved progressively towards higher inhabitants equality and the customers for additional adjustments within the means electoral districts are designed. Noting that Canada's electoral boundary readjustments are in keeping with rules markedly diverse from these within the usa, Courtney examines the influence of assorted Canadian courtroom judgements in keeping with the perfect to vote, security of the constitution, in addition to new thoughts reminiscent of neighborhood of curiosity, minority illustration, and powerful illustration. Courtney concludes with an exam of the stipulations that has to be met prior to adjustments to different representational construction blocks, corresponding to the electoral process, could be made.

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The “diffusion of innovations” studies in political science lend solid empirical support to Bryce’s comment. In both the United States and Canada reforms adopted in one jurisdiction characteristically have made their way into others. fm Page 36 Wednesday, April 11, 2001 5:02 PM 36 Commissioned Ridings Canadian experience with a number of electoral and representational reforms can also be explained by the diffusion of innovations theory. Twentieth-century Canadian history demonstrated that it was the individual provinces that played the principal role of initiator of electoral and representational experiments that were later adopted at both the federal and provincial levels.

The operation of this clause was such that unless the population of a province declined [by] one-twentieth within the ten years between each census, the province suffered no loss of seats. Ontario’s population, although on the increase, was nevertheless becoming a progressively smaller fraction of the total for the country. Yet for several decades it remained within the limits set within the bna Act, so that Ontario’s representation remained unchanged. Strict representation by population would have reduced Ontario’s quota of seats to 81 in 1924, to 78 in 1933 [and to 74 in 1946].

When they did occur, redistributions were invariably under the control of the governing party and were frequently introduced in the legislature without prior consultation with the opposition parties. Biases against urban and in favour of rural voters were common to all provinces; they varied only in the degree of their discrimination. Given the legislative majorities that provincial governments typically enjoyed, the approval of a governmentsponsored bill by a legislature (often on division and over the objections of the opposition) was a foregone conclusion.

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