Monday, August 13, 2007

MMP : What 90 Local Ridings Would Look Like

Greg Morrow, from democraticSPACE, gives us a glimpse at what 90 local ridings would look like under the proposed Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system.

[H/T, They Call Me "Mr. Sinister"]

Updated: Removed Greg's commentary from this post (you can, of course, still read it at his site). It should be noted that I think the maps are valuable from the point of view of displaying how the 90 local ridings could be distributed.


aginsberg said...

Three cheers for the establishment of more bureaucracy! Ontario currently uses the federal boundaries (with a slight adjustment in the north) saving the government millions of dollars every time a census comes out and reducing voter confusion.

Also, I would like to point out that under this model my riding of Toronto-Danforth would grow from around 100,000 voters in two city wards to around 140,000 voters in 4 city wards. This would make it more than twice the size of Timiskaming-Cochrane. I don't mind giving the North a couple of extra ridings but if Greg's projections are accurate we have a major proble,

northwestern_lad said...

Jim... "To me, anyone who thinks 90 local ridings compromises local representation is crazy." I'm sorry to see that you would post something like that on your site.

The fact is that there is nothing in this MMP proposal that guarantees where these MMP MPP's will come from. But the only guarantee is that these seats will be determined by the province wide vote total, not regional. So, if you are a party looking to win support, a very good strategy would be to put many urban candidates on your lists, and put them high up on the list to play to that larger population, which basically controls the MMP seats.

Also, the maps do give false information, because they formally attach MMP seats to a region, which this proposal does not have. To my mind, that's it's big flaw. If it actually did do that, then I wouldn't be voicing my concerns about this.

Jim said...

NWL, that's actually Greg's comment. And, Greg does say that his maps do tie regional reps, but should be used to get an idea where the local ridings will reside.

Jim said...

Actually, NWL, on further thought, you're right. I don't think I'll include Greg's commentary as I don't think people that oppose MMP are "crazy".

I still think Greg's maps are valuable in showing how the local ridings could be distributed.

Greg said...

northernern_lad -- just to clarify, my maps were created as part of my MMP proposal to the Ontario Citizens' Assembly (which, incidentally, was the only model to that Fair Vote gave its top ranking). it was an open-list regional MMP model; the CA went with a closed-list province-wide MMP model. so you are correct that in my model, list MMPs were explicitly tied to regions. but, you should be aware that even under province-wide MMP, list MMPs are still responsible to regions. if the PCs elect, say 15 list MPPs, the practice in New Zealand (same system as proposed for Ontario) is for the parties to have each list MMP be responsible for one region -- so each PC list MPP would be responsible for one of 15 regions. so instead of having to be stuck with only your local MPP (who may not share your political ideology or party affiliation, or may simply be a jerk), you now have a choice of either a local or a regional MPP to go to. and since list MPPs are not guaranteed list seats in the next election (for example, if their party does well, they would win more local seats and fewer list seats), then you certainly will see list MPPs set up a geographic base so they can secure a local nomination the next time. that's the experience in other MMP countries.

but, on the other hand, local MPPs are local MPPs, just like today. moving from 103 (as of now) to 90 does not compromise local representation, which is what the comment said ("crazy" isn't the right word; you would be "misrepresenting the facts" to claim that MMP weakens local representation, as the sample maps clearly show). in fact, in some cases, a slightly larger riding is better, since some communities are now split into 2 ridings (with the result being that the leftover part is lumped with an area that has different concerns). the new configuration fixes these anomalies. And, FYI, virtually all the combinations occur in urban areas, where specific boundaries are not usually not as critical (although they are in some cases). so rural and northern ridings will stay almost the same.

aginsberg -- yes, toronto-danforth is currently an unusually small urban riding. indeed, at 104,000 it is smaller than my riding which is 117,000 -- except that my riding is 370 times larger (and its not even in Northern Ontario!). our system balances population and geography (the only way to avoid some ridings having more people is to have a pure list PR system), so its typical today for rural and Northern ridings to have less population. MMP doesn't change that. so if you don't like that, then you have to complain about FPTP as well (today, under FPTP, Bramalea-Gore-Malton has 153,000 people and Kenora has 64,000 people -- so as you can see, this isn't related to MMP).


Linuxluver said...

People thinking about MMP appear to be determined to think on parochial lines.

Those list MPPs will be from a variety of parties. They will "represent" the people who voted for them. They will know where those votes came from based on the voting booth data. They will advance the vales and concerns voters all over Ontario.

The Canadian brain appears to be hard-wired to be parochial....perhaps due to the flaws of FPTP.

MMP offers Ontarians the chance to BE Ontarans.....rather than northerners, ruralists, urbanites and pick-yer-favourite tribe.


Alan said...

I've created a website that explains my proposal for 90 local ridings in Ontario.

"A New Electoral Map for Ontario"

It uses population figures from the 2006 Census, and provides a good balance between urban and rural areas, while recogizing the need for additional representation in the North. Please feel free to browse and share you comments.

AlanHall.Guelph AT gmail DOT com