[EM] District Sizes and PR

Stephane Rouillon stephane.rouillon at sympatico.ca
Wed Jul 23 15:52:05 PDT 2003

Good for you and your compatriotes Alex!

May I only underline that access, as you describe it, seems not a matter
of the type or the size or the nature of contituencies.  The only thing that
can allow
a representative to serve a low number of people and thus to know them
is a high number of representatives.  Some geographical proximity can help,
as I said often, there is no need that the people you serve are exclusively
the one
that can vote for you...

Whatever, I am glad for you.


Alex Small wrote :

> We've had some discussion of "closeness to the representatives."  I'd like
> to add a personal anecdote:
> Last November (2002) I discovered a minor identity theft on my credit
> report.  The identity theft had occured more than 4 years earlier, but the
> statute of limitations in California was 3 years, according to the
> Sheriff's detective.  It was too late to do anything legally, except add
> another report to the suspect's dossier.
> I wrote to my Assembly member, and suggested that she extend the statute
> of limitations.  She introduced a bill to do that, and I opened my
> newspaper this morning (7/23/2003) to see that her bill passed unanimously
> and was signed by the governor on Monday night.  In the article she cited
> my letter as the reason why she introduced the bill.  From now on, the
> statute of limitations will be 3 years from the time the identity theft is
> discovered, not 3 years from the time it occurs.
> I'm pleased by this outcome, and I'm glad our legislative districts are
> small enough that an ordinary person can get the attention of a
> legislator.  I don't mind huge constituencies in one house of a bicameral
> legislature, but I hope we always have one house with smaller
> constituencies.  Whether those small constituencies are single-member of
> multi-member (or even geographic vs. virtual) is immaterial to me, access
> is what matters.
> Anyway, I'm just happy that democracy occasionally works the way it's
> supposed to.  I didn't receive or ask for any pork, I just asked for
> better protection from theft, and I got it with one letter.  Good
> elections aren't the only essential ingredient in a healthy democracy.
> Alex
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