Do we have too many politicans in the ACT?

I just returned from casting my vote in the ACT election, helping to choose our seventeen representatives. Several of my friends were complaining that this is a lot of politicians for a small jurisdiction like ours with just 256,702 enrolled voters. So how does the ACT compare to other states in terms of number of representatives per elector?

The answer is not too badly. We have around 14,500 electorates per politician in the ACT, compared with 34,000 in New South Wales but just 5,000 in the Northern Territory. We support a similar number of representatives as Western Australia (14,500 per elector) and South Australia (16,000 per elector):

State Enrolment (2010) State  / territory politicians (2012)
Enrolled voters per state politician
New South Wales 4,591,748 135 34,013
Victoria 3,547,403 128 27,714
Queensland 2,707,464 89 30,421
Western Australia 1,356,288 95 14,277
South Australia 1,102,827 69 15,983
Tasmania 357,873 40 8,947
Australian Capital Territory 246,436 17 14,496
Northern Territory 120,489 25 4,820
Australia 14,030,528 598 23,462

Sources: 2010 enrollment by state courtesy of Antony Green, sizes of state parliaments comes from Wikipedia.


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