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proportional representation

a method of voting by which political parties are given legislative representation in proportion to their popular vote.
Origin of proportional representation
1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for proportional-representation

proportional representation

representation of parties in an elective body in proportion to the votes they win 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
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proportional-representation in Culture

proportional representation definition

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.

Note: 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.
Note: 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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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