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Poll
Question: Which country has the best names for electoral districts?
US   -2 (6.7%)
Canada   -14 (46.7%)
UK   -12 (40%)
Australia   -2 (6.7%)
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Total Voters: 30

Author Topic: Which country has the best names for electoral districts?  (Read 1238 times)
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« on: April 02, 2012, 07:16:19 pm »
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Canada. They're the most descriptive. The UK is decent too in that regards, Australia's are confusing if you're not familiar with the area but make the districts more memorable. The US's are the worst since they're not only boring the numbers don't even follow a logical pattern in most states (just look at Pennsylvania and Texas), essentially the worst of both worlds, since there's no way of telling where a district is located by its name.
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 07:44:30 pm »
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Canada, I guess. Not including Quebec though. Districts should have geographical names.
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 07:53:28 pm »
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I prefer (sensibly) numbered districts so I can get a rough idea of where the district is without having to learn new names.
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 03:36:46 am »
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I prefer (sensibly) numbered districts so I can get a rough idea of where the district is without having to learn new names.

That would just be too much, having to learn some new names.
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 03:56:10 am »
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I prefer (sensibly) numbered districts so I can get a rough idea of where the district is without having to learn new names.

That would just be too much, having to learn some new names.

It's not like there are any unnamed geographical areas sitting around. What's the point of adding another layer?
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 09:14:49 am »
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I like the UK ones, but I like the Canada hyphenates.
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 10:09:23 am »
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Definitely the UK, simple and often based on historical precedent and identifiable areas. For example, Woverhampton North East. Its simple and accurate, the seven most northeastern wards in Wolverhampton City Council.

If the UK did use the US numbers system, how would we know which of 600-660 seats was where ?Would we have to put them into smaller categories? Would Ludlow, for example, be seat 300, West Midlands 18, or Shropshire 5?
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 10:30:25 am »
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Definitely the UK, simple and often based on historical precedent and identifiable areas. For example, Woverhampton North East. Its simple and accurate, the seven most northeastern wards in Wolverhampton City Council.

If the UK did use the US numbers system, how would we know which of 600-660 seats was where ?Would we have to put them into smaller categories? Would Ludlow, for example, be seat 300, West Midlands 18, or Shropshire 5?

The Rt. Hon. David Cameron, Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire's 1st Parliamentary Constituency doesn't exactly have the same ring to it, you're right.
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 10:42:43 am »
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And in Canada, we would have Ontario-123 for next election.
A bit excessive.
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 09:32:07 pm »
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India. Of the ones presented, I'm partial to Canada, although the names can sometimes get so long that they become unwieldy (MaxQue's home constituency is an example of this). It's worth noting that some constituencies in Quebec use a system similar to that of Australia.
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 10:41:01 pm »
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I dislike re-numbering districts. I think it's fun being able to see how a district evolved over time without having to follow a bunch of crazy number changes.
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 11:24:48 pm »
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India. Of the ones presented, I'm partial to Canada, although the names can sometimes get so long that they become unwieldy (MaxQue's home constituency is an example of this). It's worth noting that some constituencies in Quebec use a system similar to that of Australia.

Yes, I hate those. But, they're often done to avoid really long names. But it's strange how they've adopted ridings named after people in some cases, but kept a lot of really long names as well.

Here is what they should be

Alfred-Pellan (Laval East)
Honore-Mercier (Anjou-Rivere-des-Prairies)
Jeanne-Le Ber (Verdun-Le Sud-Ouest) - perhaps a better name is in store, but the original name of the riding was really long, and then the riding got bigger and therefore would've necessitated a really long name, hence the new name
Louis-Hebert (Quebec West)
Louis-Saint-Laurent (Quebec Northwest) - probably not the best name, but oh well.
Marc-Aurele-Fortin (Laval-Sainte-Therese) - doesn't include most of the municipalities in the name though... argh

Don't get me started on the provincial ridings...

-----
BTW, how does India do it?
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 08:00:16 am »
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Germany has some of the worst. Well, the longest anyway.

You can't beat district names like "Brandenburg an der Havel – Potsdam-Mittelmark I – Havelland III – Teltow-Fläming I".

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundestagswahlkreis_Brandenburg_an_der_Havel_%E2%80%93_Potsdam-Mittelmark_I_%E2%80%93_Havelland_III_%E2%80%93_Teltow-Fl%C3%A4ming_I
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 04:21:23 pm »
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How does it work in Germany? I thought it was like France
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 04:31:47 pm »
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Each state gets a certain number of districts, depending on the size of the population. Within the states, each district is supposed to have roughly the same number of people.

Basis for districts are the counties, but since the electoral districts are supposed to have similar population sizes, counties often get merged or divided. In the aforementioned example, an electoral district was created out of the entirety of the independent city of Brandenburg an der Havel, and portions of the counties of Potsdam-Mittelmark, Havelland, as well as Teltow-Fläming.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 04:33:24 pm by General Buck Turgidson »Logged

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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 04:48:11 pm »
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I think, of the options presented, I like both Australia's and the UK's system. Overall though, I wouldn't mind seeing a system like the UK's implemented in the US. I like going by geographic location without hyphenation like Canada's...
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 05:55:19 pm »
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what's with the numbers (roman numerals) then?
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2012, 06:11:42 pm »
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Geographic names are great and generally quite clear, but as electorate sizes get larger (say, from state/provincial to federal), the name of the geographic location becomes harder to shorten into just one place name, or two. That's why I tend to prefer the Australia/Quebec system for large federal electorates, although I am completely satisfied with place name electorates for smaller electorates.
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2012, 03:29:30 am »
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what's with the numbers (roman numerals) then?

Yeah, each German district gets also a number assigned... geographically from the north to the south. Districts 1 and 2 (Flensburg - Schleswig and Nordfriesland - Dithmarschen Nord) are located at the Danish border for instance.

But I doubt that any Bundestag member would introduce himself as "I'm the representative of district 178". Most likely, he would use the name of the largest or most well-known city/county in his district.
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2012, 07:13:20 am »
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France names them like the United States, though some departments have a coherent pattern to the numbering. They are all given "unofficial" names which are usually the name(s) of the largest cities in the constituency. In actual parlance, few people refer to a member as "depute de la 5eme circonscription de Moselle" but rather say "depute de Moselle" or, if they're mayor of a place in the constituency (as so many are) they just say "depute-maire de [insert city name]".
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« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2012, 01:52:44 pm »
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UK - geographic location without hyphenation like Canada is the easiest to remember and makes most sense.
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« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2012, 03:44:46 pm »
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Could you explain the details of the UK, Canadian and Australian systems ? I know all use city names as a basis, but not the details of their criteria.
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2012, 09:17:16 pm »
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I'm basically with Smid. Calling Gippsland East Gippsland East makes sense, seeing as it's the eastern part of Gippsland, but other geographical seat names in Australia don't work so well - such as my own, Melbourne Ports. Whilst it isn't awful, Cauylfield is hardly port-ish. And whilst you could go with something ugly, like Melbourne Centre South, as the British would do, which would be an accurate description, or use the completely non-descriptive US system (say, VIC-05), the only way to name a seat that I find appealing ios to attempt to name the whole region quite specifically, as in Canada (St. Kilda-Caulfield-Port and South Melbourne, maybe) or go with the Australian system, which aims to use a figure or reference from the area, doesn't eclude any localitis, and keeps the name short. Which is why I would support something like 'Crean' or 'Fraser' for the electorate.
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2012, 10:12:42 pm »
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Actually it would almost certainly be called Melbourne Port Phillip.
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« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2012, 11:36:02 am »
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The US press is as likely to use geographic labels as they are numeric one to describe legislative districts. For instance Cong. Roskam is as often listed as R-Wheaton instead of R IL-6. In those cases the home town of the representative seems to be generally used.
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