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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations