By John C. Courtney
The place did the assumption for nonpartisan constituency redistributions come from? What have been the relevant purposes that Canada became to arm's-length commissions to layout its electoral districts? In "Commissioned Ridings", John Courtney addresses those questions by way of interpreting and assessing the readjustment method in Canada's electoral obstacles. Defining electoral districts as representational development blocks, Courtney compares federal and provincial electoral readjustments within the final half the 20 th century, displaying how parliamentarians and legislators, boundary commissions, courts, and participants of most of the people debated representational ideas to outline the needs of electoral redistricting in an more and more city, ethnically combined federal country akin to 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 alterations within the approach electoral districts are designed. Noting that Canada's electoral boundary readjustments are in accordance with ideas markedly various from these within the usa, Courtney examines the influence of varied Canadian courtroom judgements in accordance with the precise to vote, defense of the constitution, in addition to new options equivalent to group of curiosity, minority illustration, and powerful illustration. Courtney concludes with an exam of the stipulations that needs to be met earlier than alterations to different representational construction blocks, similar to the electoral procedure, could be made.
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Additional resources for Commissioned Ridings: Designing Canada’s Electoral Districts
They turned that task over to more “representative” and “democratic” conventions composed largely of constituency delegates. 3 In a second instance, Quebec’s 1963 legislation to control party and election financing predated steps later taken by the government of Lester Pearson and the Barbeau Committee it appointed to recommend a plan. That committee admitted to being greatly influenced by the Quebec election expenses law and accepted it as the basis for the federal plan. 4 Finally, beginning in the late 1980s, several provincial political parties experimented with some variant of a one-person one-vote system of direct election of their leader.
The possibility of taking redistributions out of the hands of politicians and of turning them over to an independent body had surfaced periodically in Canadian history, only to be lost again in a government’s rush to play the partisan card once the opportunity presented itself. The idea of entrusting electoral redistributions to an “independent authority of judges” had first appeared in the initial draft of the 1864 Quebec Resolutions. But once it became clear to the politicians that they would forfeit a seemingly valuable opportunity to influence electoral outcomes, it gave way to section 51 of the Constitution Act (1867) which delegated to Parliament the power to fix the number of mps to be elected from each province.
Canadian provinces are far fewer in number and have considerably greater variation among their population than their American counterparts. 37 Quebec benefits along with the smaller provinces from the various floors guaranteeing parliamentary representation. That province’s gradual demographic decline (now below 25 percent of Canada’s total population) has been attenuated by the representational floors. Quebec’s present level of 75 seats can, of course, be modified by Parliament in the future, but the political pressures against doing so can be expected to remain strong.