UK Boundary Commission report: fun ahead!

Are confessional districts drawn by ecumenical boundary commissions?


It certainly sounds as though that would be an ecumenical matter.

To clarify the point above about politicking in UK boundary revisions, all the arguments have to be made to the commissioners, who are not party nominees, through local consultations and hearings. Here’s an example of the kind of thing that gets said:

The final final recommendations are signed off by a Yes/No vote in Parliament, but at that stage, there are no amendments. This time around, there are formal restatements of opposition to the reduction in numbers (government ministers - the “payroll vote” - will be a higher proportion of the total, and constituency demands on some back-benchers’ time will increase), but no-one makes an overt thing about whether their party stands to lose by changes. That would just be sour grapes.

Given the large population of congressional districts (~700,000) and the fact that they’re often not drawn with any regard for keeping communities or regions together, I’m not sure that names would be very helpful here. Like, I have no idea what this monstrosity would be called. It would either be long and unwieldy or so euphemistic as to be vacant of any meaning.

I guess we could start naming them after people, as in some Australian divisions, but that seems kind of fraught. There are states where I’m sure districts would be named Forrest and Lee and Davis.

Interesting that the shape on the map even features as an issue. I suppose we might have in the back of our minds something to do with ease of movement to and within a constituency (as part of the idea of a notional community), but that can produce odd shapes too, depending on where the hills, rivers, roads and railways run, and so forth. Sparse population distributions produce some geographcally large constituencies in the UK, as in the Scottish highlands and islands - the MPs for Orkney and Shetland, and for the Western Isles, have to do a heck of a lot of travelling. As for yoking together different communities, even in quite small areas, the names can pile up - “Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East” or “East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow”, anyone?.


Pity the MP for Nunavut!

I assume that phenomenon resulted in the riding of Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques mentioned earlier. That’s a bit long by Canadian standards.