Improved representation of rural areas: a major feature of Proportional Representation
Loss of Local MLAs?
In 2018 there was misinformation spread, suggesting that voters would lose their local MLA with Pro Rep.
Pro Rep always incorporates some type of multi-member electoral districts, either real or virtual. BC had many two-member districts until quite recently, and these larger districts posed no problem in practice.
With 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 would be hugely improved with Pro Rep.
Graph (2018) of B.C. representation: orange and green were the only areas with an MLA in government 2017 – 2020:
Confusion of proportionality with district sizes
Some 2018 referendum campaign misinformation accused Pro Rep of shifting power from the hinterland to the city.
Traditionally, the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) 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. Pro Rep options can’t change this. The size of the legislature increases every so often since the government can add MLAs, who would likely be assigned by the EBC to the areas with increasing population. Other than that, the backcountry would have the same fraction of MLAs under any voting system.
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