Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How many representatives do we need?

The Greater Victoria area - Sidney to Sooke - has a lot of politicians.

Victoria 9
Saanich 9
Oak Bay 7
Esquimalt 5
View Royal 5
Highlands 5
Metchosin 5
Sooke 7
Langford 7
Colwood 7
Central Saanich 7
North Saanich 7
Sidney 7
CRD Electoral area 1

Total Local Government 88


SD 61 9
SD 62 9
SD 63 9

Total School Districts 27

MLAs 6
MPs 3

Total Fed and Provincial 9

TOTAL Elected 124

This is one elected representative per 2500 people

Compare this to Richmond, Burnaby or Surrey with comparable populations - they have about 25 each.


Or if we compare to Nanaimo Regional District - they have 46 representatives for a population of about 150 000 - 3250 people per representative. Normally an area with a lower population should have a smaller number of people per representative.

One upshot of having 124 representatives in this region is that they are almost all unknown to the public. This many people means that the regional media really can not consistently cover any of them.

I live in Victoria proper, but my neighbourhood is mainly in Saanich and many of the areas I use are in Esquimalt. This means that I effectively need to be aware of 20 councilors, 3 mayors, the CRD board and 9 school board Trustees that have a direct impact on where I live. I am pay attention to politics and try to keep up on local politics, but it is not easy.

I read the Times Colonist most days, but coverage of local governments is weak. The newsgroup papers sometimes offer me what I am looking for, but I have to seek them out.

I believe that regionally we should work on a model that reduces the number of municpal governments to 3 that run along the same boundaries as the current school districts. This would reduce the number of representatives to 63 region wide and the population per representative would be at about 5000 people. In the core area it would be close to 10 000 per representative.
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