proportional representation


Definition of proportional representation

: an electoral system in which the number of seats held by a political group or party in a legislative body is determined by the number of popular votes received

Examples of proportional representation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In elections governed by total or partial proportional representation in 2018, women were elected into 27 percent of seats, compared to only 20 percent in other elections. Kennedy Elliott, National Geographic, "Rwanda's legislature is majority female. Here’s how it happened.," 15 Oct. 2019 Based on a system of proportional representation, each party receives a share of parliamentary seats according to the number of votes cast for them nationally. Washington Post, "Israelis head to the polls with one question in mind: Should Netanyahu stay or go?," 18 Sep. 2019 In 2017 Moldova’s oligarch-run government switched the country to a Hungarian-style mix of single-party districts and proportional representation. The Economist, "How Viktor Orban hollowed out Hungary’s democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 If two Latino characters were added to every film across the 100 top movies each year to set a new norm, and this process was repeated over three years, proportional representation would be achieved. Stacy L. Smith, Time, "Hollywood Has the Power to Combat Damaging Stereotypes About Latinos. Here's Proof That It's Utterly Failing," 27 Aug. 2019 Takashi Tachibana, leader of the Protect the People from NHK Party (NHK Kara Kokumin O Mamoru To) won almost a million votes in the proportional representation block of the election. Gavin J. Blair, The Hollywood Reporter, "Japanese Lawmaker Elected on Platform of "Crushing" Public Broadcaster NHK," 22 July 2019 Beyer would replace our winner-take-all system with a fairer proportional representation system that would allow every vote to matter and everyone to win their fair share of seats. Steve Mulroy, The New Republic, "To Beat the Gerrymander, Think Outside the Lines," 8 July 2019 The system’s mix of proportional representation and majoritarianism has given an overwhelming majority to Georgian Dream, which received 49 percent of the popular vote but 77 percent of parliament seats in the last election. Alexander Sikorski, National Review, "Georgians Continue to Defy Putin, and the West Must Stand with Them," 28 June 2019 The system of proportional representation to be used in elections will diminish the power of big parties, compared with a first-past-the-post system. The Economist, "Thailand’s ruling junta is preparing to hold an election—and to win it," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proportional representation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of proportional representation

1870, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for proportional representation

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The first known use of proportional representation was in 1870

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Statistics for proportional representation

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Proportional representation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for proportional representation

proportional representation


English Language Learners Definition of proportional representation

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on proportional representation Encyclopedia article about proportional representation

Comments on proportional representation

What made you want to look up proportional representation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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