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proportional representation

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Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

noun: (abbreviation PR) any electoral system in which the number of representatives each political party has in parliament is in direct proportion to the number of votes it receives. Compare first-past-the-post, Alternative Vote.

[19c.]

Electoral system in which share of party seats corresponds to their proportion of the total votes cast, and minority votes are not wasted (as opposed to a simple majority, or "first past the post", system). Forms of proportional representation include: party list system (PLS) or additional member system (AMS). As recommended by the Hansard Society in 1976 for introduction in the UK, three-quarters of the members would be elected in single-member constituencies on the traditional majority-vote system, and the remaining seats be allocated according to the overall number of votes cast for each party (a variant of this, the additional member system, is used in Germany, where half the members are elected from lists by proportional representation, and half compete for single-member "first past the post" constituencies). Proportional representation is used for the new Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales, both first electe...    Continue Reading
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