Land over population, a democratic challenge

Consider a world in which the international community (with a total landmass of 148,940,000 km² and a population of something in excess of seven billion) granted Australia disproportionate power over the United Nations and other international bodies, on account of its 7,692,024 km² landmass, rather than its relatively modest 24,190,800 population (2016 estimate).

There can be little doubt that China (9,596,961 km²/1,378,800,000 population), India (3,287,263km²/1,330,820,000) and America (9,833,517 km²/324,500,000), to mention but a few, would raise their voices in protest, with every reason in the world, representing a considerable share of the globe’s population put together.

Of course treating the nations of this world in such an unfair fashion would be nothing short of scandalous, and a principle, I’m sure you agree, which is absolutely deplorable, in any scale, also when it means granting local land owners two, three or ten votes, even, in national “democracies”, while owners of a flat, maybe, have only one. Actually, the principle, if consistently followed, implies that citizens without property shouldn’t be able to vote.

There’s little reason to expect democratically minded people to find such an arrangement anything but sickening. Nevertheless it resounds very well with the population and politicians in rural or sparsely populated parts of Norway, currently undergoing regional reforms entailing the upcoming mergers of municipalities, as well as entire regions, such as my own.

I happen to live in a (very) sparsely populated rural area of western Norway, as of today consisting of the three counties Sogn and Fjordane, Hordaland and Rogaland, geographically mostly containing small, rural areas and municipalities, with not even a handful of cities representing the vast majority of the population.

Vestlandet Western Norway
Satellite image of the southernmost parts of Norway, with most of western Norway highlighted. Image from Wikipedia.

As one would expect, Australians probably wouldn’t mind a disproportionate influence over the world’s further development. Neither, it would appear, would local politicians (and the population) in my own neck of the wood, currently voicing their demands that land, not population, should be decisive in this new, merged region, which, therefore, is not very likely to take place.

Population means nothing, whereas land … Well, you get the gist of it. “Agrarcy”, if the word even exists, instead of democracy.

Personally I remain, quietly, but jaw-dropped, pondering some people’s shameless impudence, but should perhaps add that this gravely undemocratic principle is in fact put to use in the Norwegian parliament, with a disproportionate representation of MPs from sparsely populated counties, elected through so-called equalisation mandates (“utjevningsmandater”), securing disproportionate state contributions to districts of little to no popular significance, and an equally lucrative income for individuals willing to use the system for all it’s worth. And believe me, they do.

Same thing, of course, goes for the number of municipalities, rather than the number of people, speaking rural instead of urban Norwegian, whereby the entire region’s official language is decided.

No wonder they now raise their voices in protest against the people’s will.

That’s it for today’s quick lecture on Norwegian goings on, incredible as they may seem.

P.S. Needless to say this blogger keeps his mouth shut in his own surroundings, as his views on the matter is shared by no-one at all, as opposed to what would have been the case if they lived in densely populated areas. After all everybody caters to his own needs. If not, you’re a traitor to the entire neighbourhood. Luckily, however, one has a blog.

Top photograph: Ballot from a Norwegian election (not blogger’s own).

One thought on “Land over population, a democratic challenge

  1. Pingback: Vestlandsregionen? Pfftt … Maud! – Nedtegnelser

Denne bloggen er blottet for intensjoner om interaksjon, men man fremstår jo nødig feig, så kommentarfeltet er åpent. In general comments are not encouraged, as I rarely have the time to engage in discussions, but please feel free, if you so desire.

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