Monday, April 29, 2019

The PEI Reverse Gerrymander

Prior to the 1996 PEI election, PEI used riding boundaries that had been drawn 100 years prior. While there had been one change, in 1966, this resulted in some ridings having far more or far less voters than they should have. Before the 1996 election, the Supreme Court told PEI they had to have fair ridings, and so, Elections PEI took to redrawing the boundaries.

This is when something interesting happened.

After seeing the completed map, the Legislature stepped in and drew its own map. At the time, the Liberals dominated the Legislature, and many said that this map was Gerrymandered to guarantee a Liberal win.

In the 1996 election, the PC Party won a majority.

The same map was used in 2000, and 2003. Both times resulting in a PC Majority. Finally, before the 2007 election, the map was updated.

Yet again, the Legislature stepped in, and drew its own map. Yet again, there were accusations of Gerrymandering, this time, against the governing PC Party.

In the 2007 election, the Liberals won a majority.

They won again, on the same map in 2011, and 2015, before, finally, the map was again updated.

And again, the Legislature, this time dominated by the Liberals, drew its own map. There was not much in accusations of gerrymandering, but a few people did point the finger.

Regardless, right on schedule, the 2019 election resulted in a PC Minority with a Green official opposition.

It remains to be seen of the PEI Reverse Gerrymander will continue.

1 comment:

  1. If this legislature sits a full term, we'll have a 2023 election. While it is possible to get a new map out, based on the 2021 census, the tradition is that new maps come in years ending in 4 or 5, or, when there's an election in those years, 6. As such it is very likely, unless this term is short, that this map will only be used two times, if not just once.