proportional representation(redirected from Proportional representation systems)
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proportional representation:see representationrepresentation,
in government, the term used to designate the means by which a whole population may participate in governing through the device of having a much smaller number of people act on their behalf.
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in bourgeois electoral law, a means of determining the results of a vote, according to which the distribution of seats among parties that have nominated candidates for a representative body conforms with the number of votes received. Under proportional representation large electoral districts are established in which each party nominates its own slate of candidates and the voter casts his vote for a party’s slate. To determine the results of the vote, an electoral yardstick (or quota) is set, that is, a minimum number of votes needed to obtain one seat. The seats within a party’s slate are generally distributed in conformity with the order in which the candidates are listed; such a slate is termed a connected slate.
Proportional representation exists in Italy, Belgium, Finland, and elsewhere. In a number of countries, including Australia and India, a form of proportional representation called preferential voting is used in presidential elections.
In the bourgeois multiparty system, proportional representation is the most democratic way of determining the results of a vote, since the bodies elected in this manner are more representative in character. The Communist and workers’ parties of capitalist states make demands for proportional representation, but bourgeois states are reluctant to accept this, since they fear an increase in the number of workers’ representatives in elected bodies. Most bourgeois states use the majority system of representation.