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

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 Other proposals, like proportional representation and ranked choice voting, can elevate voters’ perception of political efficacy. Chayenne Polimedio, Vox, "Is voting a civic right or a civic duty?," 6 Nov. 2018 The election that day is being fought using a new system that combines proportional representation with first-past-the-post contests in almost 40% of the seats (see article). The Economist, "Povera ItaliaItaly goes to the polls with bleak electoral prospects," 1 Mar. 2018 Despite these recent wins, the number of women in US government is still well below proportional representation of women living in the US. Danush Parvaneh, Vox, "What happens when women win elections," 7 Nov. 2018 This year’s vote is according to a new election law that is based on proportional representation, implemented for the first time since Lebanon’s independence in 1943. Washington Post, "Lebanese expats vote in parliamentary elections," 29 Apr. 2018 Systems with elements of proportional representation, such as that sought by reformers of the electoral college or House districts, not only provide bulwarks against charges of illegitimacy. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 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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Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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The first known use of proportional representation was in 1870

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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

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