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Districting Needs to Consider the Size of Region

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The delimitation process of an electoral area (or districting) needs to consider the size of the region, besides total of population. This is because, in Indonesia, there are many vast regions with only small number of population, while the size of a region definitely affects the scope of mobility of a legislator to meet and talk with his/her constituent.

“In Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, districting is performed based not only on total population of a region, but also based on the size of the region. So, it would be better if we conduct districting by combining geographical information system and mathematic operation,” says the Executive Director of Elections and Democracy Syndicate (SPD), August Mellaz, during a hearing session with members of the Parliament in Jakarta (01/12).

Jennifer Frentasia, a researcher from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), also conveys similar opinion. According to Jennifer, just districting is the one that doesn’t only consider the price-per-seat in a region, but also the one that considers the geo-social aspect and the size of the region.

“Electoral areas outside Java do not receive proper seats allocation because districting is done by only considering total population, while the majority of regions outside Java are more vast,” says Jennifer during a discussion titled “Credit Claiming Conditions and Constituency Visits” in Jakarta (01/13).

August and Jennifer are expecting more complex approach for districting. August recommends that the Government should conduct districting by commissioning it to a special sub-committee within the Special Committee for the new Election Laws Bill.

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