What is proportional representation?


We know that the term “popular vote” is the total number of ballots cast in an election.

Proportional Representation is a system where the number of seats held by a Party is determined by the % of the popular vote that the Party receives in the election.

There are numerous proportional representation voting systems designed to achieve this connection between the % of seats a Party wins and the % of the popular vote that Party receives.

For example, where Party A receives 40% of the popular vote, then that party will hold 40% of the seats in Parliament.  (In Canada, Party A would hold 40% of 308 seats = 123 seats)

By contrast, in the 2011 Federal election, the governing party won 54% of the seats (166 seats) with only 39.6% of the popular vote. This demonstrates the unfairness of our current voting system called First Past the Post.

With Proportional Representation, each piece of legislation will be passed only when the Members of Parliament that vote to pass the legislation represent at least 50% of the voters.  In other words the MP’s that voted to pass the legislation will have collectively received more than 50% of the popular vote….a true majority.

 download DEFINE PRO REP doc


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