The UK election may be over, but Canadians are still set to go to the polls on October 19th, 2015 to decide the fate of their own Conservative government. When they do, voters in the Territory of Nunavut will be voting in the world’s largest electoral district.
Just how big is it?
According to ElectionMapper: “The electoral district of Nunavut (Nunavut) covers an area of 2,093,190 km2.” This is 8.6 times larger than the UK, 3 times larger than Texas or just slightly larger than Mexico.
And how many people live there?
According to Wikipedia, just 31,906 people live in the district with only 16,916 being eligible to vote.
Amazingly, this is not Canada’s smallest riding, that honour goes to Labrador which has just 26,364 people. Although Labrador does have more eligible electors with 20,175.
In contrast, Brampton West is Canada’s largest riding by population with 170,422 people and Oak Ridges—Markham is the largest based on the number of electors with 136,755. That means a vote in Nunavut can be worth up to 8 times what a vote in Oak Ridges—Markham is worth.
In contrast the largest difference between US congressional districts is between Montana with 994,416 people and Rhode Island with 527,624 people or roughly twice as many.
In the UK the largest constituency is the Isle of Wight with 110,924 people and the smallest is Na h-Eileanan an Iar (formerly Western Isles) in Scotland with 21,837 people. This means a vote in the Isle of Wight is worth only 1/5th of a vote in Na h-Eileanan an Iar.
Want to learn more about Canadian, UK and/or American elections? Then have a look at the following books:
- Dominance and Decline: Making Sense of Recent Canadian Elections
- Who Governs Britain?
- Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America
Do you think the electoral systems used in Canada, the UK and/or the US are fair? Leave your comments below:
erik smit says
Don’t know about Canada, but the US/UK system is not fair at all. Representation should be proportational so that a party gaining 20% of all votes nationwide should get about 20% of all seats in parliament or congress. In the Anglosaxon system, 20% gives you zero seats unless they all live in the same area.
In England, a MP is supposed to represent all citizens in their constituency, but if I vote Green Party, how is the winning Tory or Labour MP going to represent my views? Not at all. If I vote Green, the elected Green MP’s will be there to represent my views. Also if they live in another town than me.
In the U.S., our founders never intended for political parties to exist in the first place. Representatives in the U.S. first and foremost represent the district & populace that elected them, not a particular party or ideology.