Party List Proportional Representation

  • In the news

  • Repositioning the liberal philosophy
    Hendon & Finchley Times, UK -
    ... been received quite well at the party conference ... follow the Third Way: he did not develop proportional representation. ... we have the tyranny of the waiting list. ...
  • Telling the Truth About the Election
    Dissident Voice, CA -
    ... The list goes on ... or stand outside in support of the Democratic Party and the ... reforms like instant run-off voting, proportional representation, public financing ...
  • Iraq: There Is No Justification for Postponing Elections
    Arab News, Saudi Arabia -
    ... to form coalitions and submit party lists ... then be allocated on the basis of proportional representation. ... the possibility of presenting a single list of national ...
  • Floor-Crossing Controversy Revives Calls for Electoral Reform
    AllAfrica.com, Africa -
    ... than to the voters because it is the party that put them on the list. ... weaknesses of both the constituency-based and the proportional representation systems ...
  • An electoral system that is misguided
    Daily Star, Lebanon -
    ... Under a proportional representation system, parliamentarians are not tied to a specific district, but rather to a party list. Instead ...
Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems used in multiple-winner elections (e.g. elections to parliament), emphasizing proportional representation. In these systems, parties make lists of candidates to be elected, and seats get allocated to each party in proportion to the number of votes the party receives. Voters may vote directly for the party, like in Israel, or they may vote for candidates and that vote will pool to the party, like in Turkey. The order in which the party's list candidates get elected may be pre-determined by some method internal to the party (a closed list system) or they may be determined by the voters at large (an open list system).

a poster for the European Parliament election 2004 in Italy, showing party listsEnlarge

a poster for the European Parliament election 2004 in Italy, showing party lists

There are many variations on seat allocation within party-list proportional representation. The three most common are: the d'Hondt method used in Israel, Austria and Poland, among other places, the Sainte-Laguë method, used in many Scandinavian countries, New Zealand, and the German Federal State Bremen, and the largest remainder method. List PR may also be combined in various hybrids (e.g. using the Additional member system).

The unmodified Sainte-Laguë method and the LR-Hare method rank as the most proportional followed by LR-Droop; single transferable vote; modified Sainte-Laguë, d'Hondt and largest remainder Imperiali. While the allocation formula is important, equally important is the district magnitude (number of seats in a constituency). The higher the district magnitude, the more proportional an electoral system becomes.

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