electoral district

An electoral district is a formal legal boundary within which all of the electors are voting in the same way for the same representatives, and have their ballot counted in the same way towards the same local result.

In Canada all federal and provincial distracts are single member districts in which the first past the post wins the seat. This leads to many distortions and is considered by all informed analysts to be "obsolete".

Accordingly multi-member electoral district schemes such as Single Transferable Vote have been proposed in most provinces and for the federal government. They are used in many countries, and were used often in the United States until gerrymandering discredited them in the 1960s due to abuses by parties mostly in Texas. Only stable district borders are immune to this:
  • Any electoral district with unstable borders presents a temptation to manipulate those borders for advantage of the party in power.
  • A political party in any jurisdiction must typically organize itself exactly along the lines of the electoral districts that have legal effect and in which they must run campaigns, e.g. a GPO CA.
Accordingly, unstable borders also make it easy to disrupt local organizing and campaign support simply by drawing borders in such a way as to divide a candidate's key supporters.

Stable borders are considered an absolute advantage to the community, the candidates who come from the local grassroots as opposed to being appointed "from above", and in all processes where management of watersheds or other long term ecological processes are involved.

To achieve permanent seven generation stability, bioregional districts are most often proposed. A bioregional multi-member district scheme has been proposed by the Efficient Civics Guild and by the Green Party of Ontario and is being considered by the Green Party of Nova Scotia, and other parties.