Spatial scientists and representational democracy: the role of information-processing technology in the design of parliamentary and other constituencies
A recent court case has raised a number of issues relating to the nature of representative democracy in Britain. In particular, the importance of equality of electorates among constituencies relative to other criteria employed in the redistricting procedure has been raised. The court findings emphasised the subjectivity inherent at all stages of the redistricting process at present. We describe procedures, combining data analysis and mapping, whereby such subjectivity can be restricted to the later stages, so allowing the final decisions to be made in a fully informed context. Such procedures raise issues relating to public contributions to the various stages of the redistricting process, and a speculative final section to the paper extends the ideas that we outline.
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