proportional representation noun
: a system in which the number of seats held by members of a political party in a legislature (such as a parliament) is determined by the number of votes its candidates receive in an election
: an electoral system designed to represent in a legislative body each political group or party in proportion to its actual voting strength in the electorate
First Known Use of PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
proportional representation noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Electoral system in which the share of seats held by a political party in the legislature closely matches the share of popular votes it received. It was devised in Europe in the mid-19th century to guarantee minority groups more representation than was possible under the majority or plurality systems. Its supporters claim that it creates a more accurate reflection of public opinion; its opponents argue that by allowing more parties in a legislature, it may result in weaker, less stable governments. Two methods for apportioning seats are the single-transferable-vote method, under which voters rank candidates by preference, and the list system, under which voters select a party's list of candidates rather than individuals. Some countries (e.g., Germany and Russia) use a combination of plurality and proportional methods for allocating seats in the lower house of the national legislature. See also legislative apportionment.
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