bioregional multi-member district

A bioregional multi-member district voting system attempts to reconcile bioregional democracy with representative democracy. It combines the Single Transferable Vote system of allocating seats in a legislature or council votes of some body representing a physical place/region.

can deal with party lists

Some schemes add a proportional representation component to make up for under-represented views. These versions, with fractional or partial members, involve a mixed member proportional representation round that is conducted after the STV round, to ensure fairness to those parties that are locked out in the STV round but which receive enough of the popular vote to justify receiving one of the leftover or "fractional" seats. Such open list schemes combine:

  1. . the bioregional democracy advantages of representation by bioregion, an end to gerrymandering and extreme stability since borders are set by biological criteria, e.g. watershed
  2. . the single transferable vote advantage of no wasted votes - every vote counts once and only once and preferences are expressed directly on the ballot; in single-member elections (such as for Mayor) the system gracefully devolves to instant runoff voting using the same ballot exactly
  3. . the mixed proportional representation advantages that every political party leader above a certain threshold of popular vote will receive a seat in the legislature, and (depending on the specific variant of the system), so may other members on a party list or who were unsuccessful in the STV round but received a "high enough" popular vote

Issues with these schemes are the specific bioregion borders, and, how the leftover fractional
votes (from regions with say 4.5, 2.5 or 2.2 or 7.8 seats) get translated into the overall proportional vote. Using those numbers, 15 members would be elected in each region by STV, and 2 leftovers by MMPV. That is fairly typical. The details then are:
  • how one determines which parties were under-represented by STV and thus deserve MMPV votes/seats
  • whether party leaders have special status, and can be elected by MMPV even if they are not the most under-represented (due to non-leaders being represented) - making it a closed list system
  • whether the "first choice" parties are added up only from those remaining (.5, .5, .2, .8) votes that did not elect STV members - this is the trickest aspect of such a scheme, probably hard to explain too but only relevant to a tiny part of the vote
  • whether the resulting percentage of popular vote that guarantees a seat in the legislature is approprriate (this percentage will change slightly in every election) or if it should be offset by some other measure (compensatory funding, allocating another proportional seat or two)


Complexity is an argument against this scheme, but, if the ballots can be made out of paper and an ordinary person can learn how to count them, then, that is enough, even if they don't really understand how the total composition of the legislature is arrived at. That is certainly better than a voting machine, which very few people can validate.

Craig Hubley adds that "it is the Citizens Assembly's job anyway to understand it all, the ordinary person doesn't even understand how first past the post works, they just get mad when they see 34% Liberal vote making a "majority"."

right scale for e-democracy

Another way to deal with complexity is to have the multiple members chair a bioregional e-democracy district council to raise issues, run issue challenges and otherwise deal efficiently with disputes arising in the bioregion. Confidence with this process would be likely to generate strong feelings of local identity, e.g. as in the Niagara Region of Ontario.


Hubley also reports that:

""STV vs. MMPR" is false dualism. All good bioregional democracy schemes tack on some element of MMPR to a basically-STV scheme, in order to keep the borders ecologically defined, not shifted around by population. MMPR allocates maybe 5% of the seats, but this is how a major problem with STV is solved: the borders being fudged to get to round numbers of members. Lack of fixed bioregional borders is an ecological disaster and creates centralized power, if only to set the borders:

It is better to let the number of seats vary than the borders, even if fractional seats result. Those fractions can be added up so that the leftover votes are used to elect via MMPR - there's enough ways to do this that there's work for a CA to do.

use to elect Assembly?

One useful proposal is to assemble citizens using such a scheme, then let that assembly do the work of explaining, diddling and proposing some alternate scheme, if it doesn't like the one that elected it.

Canadian work

It is mostly discussed in the context of CA electoral reform, e.g. the Green Party of Ontario advocates such a system. The Green Party of Nova Scotia is also considering it as an electoral reform. Such schemes work very well with existing regional governments, like Niagara Region, which already closely reflect watershed boundaries. It has been raised in some Green Party of Canada forums notably the democracy and governance subcommittee - where it was claimed that bioregional multi-member district schemes combine STV and MMPR effectively.

The Green Federation of Canada and Watershed Union of Nova Scotia also propose to use it as a means of electing their delegates. See also next GPC Constitution, FPVA and world trolling anarchization.

This is a refer link. See en: wikipedia: bioregional multi-member district.