Are four constituencies three too many?

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

The Grand Duchy is divided into four constituencies for the legislative elections. Does this really ensure better representation of the population?

As elections to the Chamber of Deputies approach, there is always the question of who the elected members represent and whether they do so fairly. Luxembourg's electoral system has changed little in recent decades, despite a long list of ideas and reforms to modernise it. Multiple mandates, number of MPs, division of constituencies… "It's a recurring topic, " comments Philippe Poirier, professor of political science at the University of Luxembourg and holder of the research chair in parliamentary studies at the Chamber of Deputies. "Since the start of studies on the electorate in 2000, I think I've come across around twenty more or less formalised proposals, and none have come to fruition apart from the 2016 agreement between the parties on the minimum 40% of women candidates – which does not guarantee a similar proportion in the Chamber."

Tampering with the electoral system means risking losing votes, seats, weight in the House and potentially the opportunity to govern itself. And that starts with the division of the territory into electoral districts. This issue alone has been the subject of two petitions and one court case in the last ten years. In 2014, for example, a member of the public submitted a petition entitled "Pour une unique circonscription lors des élections législatives" ("For a single constituency in legislative elections"). In his opinion, "given the population growth in both the north and east of the country, the division of small Luxembourg into constituencies in national elections is outdated and democratically unfair, given the proportions of the number of people to be elected and the number of voters, the north and east are at a disadvantage compared with the centre and south".

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