Reducing Seats in a Legislature Must Be Looked at in Context

Article 6 / 14 , Vol 42 No. 3 (Fall)

Reducing Seats in a Legislature Must Be Looked at in Context

In this article, the author explains why people may not be better served by having fewer elected representatives. She outlines the multifaceted dimensions of constituency work and explains how geography – particularly in rural or northern areas – can challenge a politician’s ability to effectively reach constituents and hear their concerns. She notes that while technological innovations can help build connections with constituents, not all areas have adequate communications networks. The author notes that potential cost savings of having fewer politicians is not as straight forward as it may seem, that backbenchers are not all as underworked as people may believe, and having fewer seats in a legislature won’t necessarily make it easier for parties to run a full slate of candidates. She concludes by contending that changes to the system itself should be where efforts are directed and proposals to reduce or increase the number of representatives in the system should be examined in context.

Lorraine Michael
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