THE question of what constitutes fair representation from our elected representatives is not an easy one to answer.
Different levels of government provide different levels of representation and even within the same tier of government very different rules can apply.
For example, the level of representation each of us enjoys in the Australian Senate varies greatly depending on where we live.
The Senate comprises 76 members - 12 senators from each Australian state and plus two more from each of the territories.
So the least populous state, Tasmania, has one senator in federal parliament for every 46,000 head of population while each NSW senator represents 670,000 people.
The vast discrepancy is tolerated to ensure each state has an equal say in the senate and acts as a safeguard against the larger states taking over.
Which brings us to a call from NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro last week for more regional seats in the NSW Parliament.
He made the call as the NSW Electoral Commission prepares another round of boundary changes which are traditionally done to accommodate population changes and keep roughly the same number of voters in each seat.
As the population of the major cities continues to grow while regional towns have dwindled, though, most recent boundary changes have seen the establishment of new metropolitan electorates and the abolition of some bush electorates.
And those same population shifts mean that the remaining regional electorates now cover far more of the state than can ever be properly serviced by a single person.
One seat, Barwon, covers a ridiculous 44 per cent of NSW and at just over 350,000 square kilometres is roughly the size of Germany. Barwon stretches from Lake Cargelligo in the south all the way to the Queensland border, and from east to west it measures about 1000km.
But Barwon's population of 55,000 electors is the same as Coogee, which covers just 12.69 square kilometres.
It's the same number of people per MP, but hardly the same representation.
So Mr Barilaro is right; it's time to do away with the fallacy that an equal number of voters means an equal level of representation.
With bush populations declining, regional NSW needs more voices in parliament, not fewer. And the best way to do that is to create more regional electorates - and soon.