Roman coin depicting election A British election ballot paper, Elections were used as early in history as ancient Greece and ancient Romeand throughout the Medieval period to select rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor see imperial election and the pope see papal election. The Raja belonged to the noble Kshatriya varna warrior classand was typically a son of the previous Raja. However, the gana members had the final say in his elections.
Proportional representation requires that the distribution of seats broadly be proportional to the distribution of the popular vote among competing political parties. It seeks to overcome the disproportionalities that result from majority and plurality formulas and to create a representative body that reflects… Development and debates Advocates for proportional representation argue that an election is like a census of opinion as to how the country should be governed, and only if an assembly represents the full diversity of opinion within a country can its decisions be regarded as legitimate.
For example, proponents maintain that the plurality system can produce unrepresentative, minority governments, such as in the United Kingdom, where the two major parties governed the country for the last three decades of the 20th century with little more than 40 percent of the votes. The proportional system also is suggested as a means of redressing the possible anomaly arising under majority or plurality systems whereby a party may win more seats with fewer popular votes than its opponents, as occurred in the British elections of and February Critics of proportional representation contend that in an election a country is making a decision, and the function of the electoral system is to achieve a consensus rather than a census of opinion.
Opponents argue further that, by making it possible for small parties to be represented, proportional representation encourages the formation of splinter parties that can result in weak and unstable government. Unlike the plurality system, which uses single-member districts, proportional representation systems use multimember constituencies.
Systematic methods of applying proportional representation were first developed in the midth century in Denmark by Carl Andrae and in Britain by Thomas Hare and John Stuart Mill.
Methods currently in use include the single-transferable-vote method STVthe party- list systemand the additional-member system. Systems of proportionality Single transferable vote STV has not been widely adopted, being used in national elections in Ireland and Maltain Australian Senate elections, and in local and European Parliament elections in Northern Ireland.
Under STV, voters rank candidates on the ballot in order of preference. In the s Henry Richmond Droop developed a quota the so-called Droop quota to determine the number of votes a candidate needed to capture to win election under STV.
The quota is calculated by dividing the total number of valid votes cast by the number of seats to be filled plus one, and one is then added to the quotient, which is expressed in the following formula: After the first preference votes are counted, any candidate whose votes exceed the quota is elected.
Any surplus among subsequently elected candidates is similarly transferred, and so on, if necessary. In this way the results reflect fairly accurately the preferences of the electors and, therefore, their support for both individuals and parties.
Although the system provides representation to minor parties, results in STV elections generally have shown that minor centrist parties benefit from the system and minor radical parties are penalized.
Party-list system Under the party-list system, the elector votes not for a single candidate but for a list of candidates. Each list generally is submitted by a different party, though an individual can put forward his own list.
The overall proportionality of the system is dependent upon the district magnitude, with higher district magnitudes associated with more proportional results. Each party gets a share of the seats proportional to its share of the votes. Under the largest-remainder rule a quota is set, and each party is assigned one seat for each time it meets the quota.
Under the highest-average rule, seats are assigned one at a time to the party with the highest total. Although there are variations, the seats that a party wins generally are assigned to its candidates in the order in which they are named in the list. Additional-member system The additional-member system combines proportionality with the geographic link between a citizen and a member of the legislature characteristic of constituency -based systems.
Under this system, adopted by Germany after World War II and in several countries after the fall of communism in eastern Europe, half of the legislature usually is elected through constituency elections and half through proportional representation the percentage of constituency and proportional representatives varies by country.
Each person casts two votes, one for a person and one for a party. In most cases, the party vote is generally used as the basis for determining the overall partisan composition of the legislature. In Britain proportional representation was adopted for elections to the European Parliament and for some local elections in London and Northern Ireland though not for elections to the House of Commons.
Several other countries—notably Italy, which adopted a modified constituency-based system to reduce the number of political parties in the legislature and to create more stability in the cabinet—have altered their national voting systems.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Rather than the winner-take all approach of other systems, proportional representation ensures that votes carry equal weight.
To do this, a single area elects more than one representative. The size of this area can vary according to the system, ranging from the size of the whole country to a county or local area. In this essay I will argue that British General Elections should be conducted using a system of Proportional Representation.
First, I will argue that the system would be more democratic as every vote that is cast would be represented and this.
By Andrew Frank. British Columbians have an opportunity to try out a new proportional representation electoral system, risk-free, for two elections. The UK election made an irresistible case for proportional representation, but a Conservative government is not likely to play ball.
The upper house might be a compromise, though. Depends on the type of PR. Generally, parties that do well in non-PR systems do worse in PR. Take the Conservatives, the SNP or the DUP as examples: they'd perform far worse if they were voted in with a PR system.
Unless properly contained, PR can also allow extremist parties to get into power more easily. Proportional representation (PR) is a term used to describe a range of electoral systems in which the distribution of seats corresponds closely with the proportion of the total votes cast for each party or individual candidate.