proportional representation

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a method of voting by which political parties are given legislative representation in proportion to their popular vote.
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Origin of proportional representation

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use proportional representation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for proportional representation

proportional representation

representation of parties in an elective body in proportion to the votes they winAbbreviation: PR Compare: first-past-the-post
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for proportional representation

proportional representation

An electoral system in which seats in a legislature are awarded to each party on the basis of its share of the popular vote. The United States does not use a system of proportional representation. Membership in the Senate and the House of Representatives, for example, is based on individual candidates' receiving a majority of votes. Such a system strongly encourages the formation of only two major political parties.

notes for proportional representation

In Israel and some nations in Europe, a system of proportional representation guarantees that small parties will have official recognition in the government, thus leading to a multiparty government.

notes for proportional representation

Though proportional representation has been attempted in a few American cities, many American politicians argue that it tends to fragment the government, preventing quick and decisive action.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.