British Columbia electoral redistribution, 2008

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The British Columbia electoral redistribution of 2008 was undertaken over a lengthy period that began in late 2005 and was completed with the passage of the Electoral Districts Act, 2008 on April 10, 2008. The redistribution modified most electoral boundaries in the province, and increased the number of MLAs from 79 to 85. The electoral boundaries created by the restribution were first used in the 2009 provincial election.

The provincial government mandated the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission[1] to recommend new maps (for both BC-STV and the traditional "single-member plurality" SMP systems) prior to the second electoral reform referendum. The commission's preliminary report, delivered in August 2007, was received with concern by both the New Democratic Party opposition and the governing Liberal party. In addition to concerns about boundaries and size of individual ridings, the commission was criticized for shifting seats to the Lower Mainland (which was growing in population) and away from larger but less-populated areas (BC has traditionally given some electoral weight to vast but relatively underpopulated regions without large urban centres, particularly in the north).

The commission held subsequent hearings and, in February 2008, submitted 50 amendments to its preliminary report. Province-wide, the amendments would result in a net increase of four electoral districts, for a total of 83 single member plurality electoral districts. The number of proposed BC-STV electoral districts remained at 20.[2] Because of the concern of both parties about the loss of seats in the North and Cariboo, the Commission also reported on the 85-seat map it would have designed if the legislature had passed an amendment requiring this. The legislature then approved the alternative boundaries for 85 ridings.

The 2008 provincial election in neighbouring Alberta served as a reminder to BC of the "unfinished business" looming ahead. Ed Stelmach's Conservative party won a sizable majority government (73 out of 83 seats) on the strength of a bare majority of votes cast. In response, the Vancouver Sun described BC's indecision over boundaries as "a significant hitch (that) has developed in the electoral boundary reform process that was to have illustrated how an STV system would carve up the province...Unless members of the legislature are able to forge a compromise that will rescue the politically unpalatable recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, voters will face another vote on whether to change the system while still uncertain as to how it will look in their home communities."[3]

Changes[edit]

No change (6)[edit]

Adjusted (44)[edit]

Minor adjustment with name change (3)[edit]

Replaced (26)[edit]

(primary successor riding is shown)

New ridings (6)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bc-ebc.ca
  2. ^ "Electoral Boundaries Commission amends its proposal for northern electoral district boundaries" (PDF) (Press release). B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  3. ^ Editorial (2008-03-05). "Lopsided Alberta vote underscores B.C.'s unfinished electoral work". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2008-03-08.