UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: April 17, 301 AP.
UEC develops new electoral boundaries
The Utanian Electoral Commission has released its final proposal for the electoral boundaries to be examined but not approved by the President and Parliament. The final approval shall come from the UEC itself.
The controversial changes to the electoral boundaries became necessary when the Utanian census showed last month that there was huge discrepencies between what was thought to be the population distribution and what the census revealled it really is. Some electorates under the old boundaries had up to 2.6 million residents when an electorate is, by law, not permitted to have more than 1.6 million residents, and no less than 500,000 residents.
A curious quirk of the Utanian system is that the electorates are designed to be equal in terms of the number of people living in them, not voters. It is designed to effectively enfranchise the elderly and children of an electorate. It is a system criticised by MPs from Lasanne and Nystonia states who effectively, albeit slightly, represent more voters.
The new divisions will see 156 MPs elected from 41 electorates, up from 140 MPs from 40 electorates. The new electorates continue to collect as many people from the same tribal affiliation together, seeing the merger of the Kanhara and Ayana electorates. City electorates have certainly gotten smaller in area, and more numerous - purely urban electorates now number eight, up from five. Semi-urban electorates decrease from nine to eight.
Some electorates have also been lost, replaced by new, mostly urban ones: Twizel, Jostt and Aviemore from Lasanne state are merged with Ujam, Gyum'th and Waitaki electorates respectively. And, in their place, Durning and Lidcombe are created. In Nystonia state, only the semi-urban electorate of Dyson is created, and the boundaries change for all other electorates. In Savana state, little changes, except that Navoomi electorate loses an MP while Savaj and Yan Gror electorates gain one with their massive increases in population.
In Utani B'yan things have changed substantially. The number of electorates increases by one, after the merging of Ayana and Kanhara and creation of Arayona semi-urban and rural Okama electorates, but the number of MPs increases by twelve. It significantly increases the influence of the state, something feared by conservative MPs, for the state is strong in support for the government Peoples and Utani Saedaj parties. The state's conservative east coast increases in influence by two MPs, to 16, while the cities of Utan Krysaror and Agraam increase by two MPs each to nineteen and eight respectively. This means that the remaining six new MPs come from rural, Utani regions: the Chiquiti get an extra MP, as the Kanharans lose one, Savana Tern-Tuama get three extra MPs between their somewhat merged electorates, and the B'yantusu mountainous electorate expands by one MP, while the formation of Okama electorate accounts for the final three MPs.
There is certain to be significant debate, and some strong opposition to the new proposals from many MPs with a clear interest in how the boundaries are drawn, but UEC Chief Walter Dale remains optimistic that there are no glaring flaws in the new design.
©UPA, 301 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)