Where the voters are

Matthew Mendelsohn and Sujit Choudhry consider the government’s effort to rebalance the House of Commons.

Right now, the legislation that governs the drawing of electoral boundaries permits ridings to vary plus or minus 25 per cent from the provincial average. What this means in practice is that even if the average riding in Ontario has 110,000 voters, some ridings could have almost 140,000 voters while others could have as few as around 80,000.

We think these differences are too large. In practice, the largest ridings have been in the suburbs around Toronto. The federal government should stipulate that ridings should differ by no more than 5 per cent or 10 per cent from the average. After all, it is Canadians of multi-ethnic backgrounds living around our largest cities, particularly the GTA, who are most under-represented.

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