What is proportional representation?


An electoral system based on proportional representation ensures that the number of seats occupied by a party reflects the percentage of the votes it obtained in an election. For instance, if a party obtains 35% of the votes, it should have approximately 35% of the seats in the legislative assembly.


There are several advantages to having a system which guarantees that every vote will be taken into account. If citizens are better represented by their elected representatives, they will have a more positive attitude toward politics and this will encourage their participation. In addition, such a system allows for better regional representation, and allows for an increase in the number of women elected. Several studies show that the proportionality principle has several positive impacts on a democracy.


There is a large variety of voting systems that fall under the proportional representation category. More than 90 countries have adopted one of the variations of that system, such as Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark. In order to become an expert on proportional representation, consult our “myths and facts” page by clicking here!

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