Citizens obtain a voice in writing the State’s laws by electing a member of their community to the Chamber of Deputies. The word ‘chamber’ literally means to echo the citizens’ voice so it passes from their village to the Parliament.
It is impossible to have every village represented in Parliament, so States are divided into small electoral districts. Germany has 299 electoral districts.
Each electoral district has unique economic and social interests which lead to specific legislative needs. Here is how Romanians might use electoral districts to write laws that change our reality.
Rural districts might elect representatives to pass laws creating local farming associations to export locally grown products or limit illegal import of tomatoes from Turkey.
Mountains districts might elect representatives to pass laws that improve roads, promote tourism in national parks and stop illegal logging.
Urban districts might elect representatives to pass laws that help citizens recover money from fraudulent real estate developers, improve public education or pass new election laws so citizens can gain seats on city councils to create thoughtful urban plans.
Electoral districts are the foundation of all the prosperous parliamentary democracies with large populations. The French, German and British Parliaments average about 125,000 people per electoral district. Australia (population similar to Romania) has 159,000 people per electoral district, resulting in 150 members in the legislative chamber of Parliament.
In 2008, Romania implemented the electoral district principle with 315 districts (Colejii) in the Chamber of Deputies .
The 2008 implementation of the electoral districts was manipulated by political party leaders that wanted to appease the European Union, but had no interest in giving Romanian citizens the democratic rights of electing their own Parliament. This was implemented by an incomprehensible voting method that mimicked closed party lists and increased the Chamber of Deputies to 412 members after 2012 elections. Rather than improve the voting method, in May 2015, Parliament voted to eliminate electoral districts and return to closed party lists for each of the 42 counties.
It is essential that Romania improve the electoral district system, rather than abandon it. With an average population of 100,000 per district and estimated national census of 20,000,000, the Chamber of Deputies should be close to 200 members.