Fully proportional representation

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Abstract

Even though voters can have complex preferences over multiple candidates or parties, all extant electoral systems provide political representation based solely or primarily on voters’ first preferences. I present a new concept of proportional representation that takes account of voters’ preferences over the full list of alternatives—fully proportional representation (FPR)—and schemes for its implementation. I outline a “pure” FPR scheme, but because this scheme would have several undesirable features when used by real voters, I also discuss modifications that account for these difficulties. Although there are a variety of interpretations of the role played by voting in democracy, several can be shown to suggest FPR as a normative ideal. Fully proportional representation provides us with new ways to conceptualize existing electoral systems, a new standard against which alternative systems can be evaluated, and several feasible alternatives for approximating this new ideal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-940
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume89
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1995

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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