Improved representation of rural areas: a major feature of Pro Rep
Loss of Local MLAs?
There has been misinformation spread, suggesting that voters will lose their local MLA with Pro Rep.
Pro Rep always incorporates some type of multi-member electoral districts, either real or virtual. For example, in the Dual Member Proportional system a two-member district will naturally be twice as big; but it’ll have twice as many MLAs too – there’ll be almost no change in “localness” in terms of how close the nearest MLA’s office is likely to be. BC had many two-member districts until quite recently, and these larger districts posed no problem in practice.
Plus, with each of the Pro Rep systems your chances of having a local or regional MLA who supports your views almost doubles, so in meaningful terms your local or regional representation will be hugely improved with Pro Rep.
Confusion of proportionality with district sizes
Some recent misinformation accuses Pro Rep of shifting power from the hinterland to the city.
Traditionally, the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission sets the ratio of MLAs to citizens to be higher in rural areas than urban areas, for practical reasons of travel distances involved in MLA work. The Pro Rep options can’t change this. The size of the legislature increases every so often, and the government may add between 0 and 8 MLAs for the next election. Otherwise, the backcountry will have the same fraction and number of MLAs under any voting system. This applies whether a new system has “regional MLAs” or not.
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