Monday 18 February 2013

Rep by Pop: Re-drawing the USA

Despite their differences in governmental style, the USA and Canada share one political fact: the glaring inequality of voting regions based on geography rather than population. Such a scheme may have made sense  two or three centuries back, but as our societies grow increasingly urban, the result is that the vote of a citizen in a sparsely populated region vastly outweighs the vote of a voter who lives in a large city or densely populated area.

One possible solution has been proposed by Neil Freeman, an artist and urban planner who, in an article posted at his site, proposes a radical re-drawing of the map of the USA (Electoral College Reform (fifty states with equal population). Mr. Freeman was careful to preserve the number of states, although he did rename them all. For a refreshing look at a possible America, I urge you to visit his site.

I for one think this is a great idea, albeit extremely unlikely to occur. I would like to apply the same principle to the map of Canada, and shall do some work on this soon. In Canada we have what we call Ridings, which are regions that elect a Member of Parliament. I have the populations of all Ridings in Canada; I just have to average them and redraw the boundaries.

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