Proportional voting

Proportional voting approach for voting systems


The outcome from the vote is allocated based on the proportional number of votes that each proposal receives.

Example proportional voting systems

  • Party-List Proportional Representation (Closed List) - Voters select a party rather than ranking individual candidates. The seats are then allocated to parties proportionally based on the votes received, and the party determines which candidates take the seats.

  • Mixed-Member Proportional Representation (MMP) - Voters typically have two votes: one for a candidate in a single-member district and one for a party list. The party list vote determines the proportional allocation of seats, but it does not involve ranking candidates. This voting system combines proportional representation and first-past-the-post elements. It aims for more strict proportionality and may increase the total number of seats to ensure that the distribution of seats closely matches the proportion of votes that each party receives.

  • Additional Member System (AMS) - Similar voting system to MMP however this voting system looks to strike a balance between direct local representation and overall proportionality and generally works using a fixed number of seats.

Very low binary decision suitability (Score - 1)

A proportional voting approach is not suitable for a simple binary decision. A yes or no outcome is required which means a proportional outcome would not be relevant as it would be the equivalent of a majority decision outcome.

Very low single selection decision suitability (Score - 1)

The example use cases that are listed for single selection decisions are not well suited for a proportional voting approach as all of these examples are looking for a single outcome from the decision and not a proportional one. Most of these decisions couldn’t have multiple winning outcomes using a proportional allocation.

Low multiple selection decision suitability (Score - 2)

  • Accuracy & expressiveness - Proportional voting would make sense in situations where people are voting on different groups of contributors or delegated representatives that they prefer. Then the allocation of budget or voting power those groups receive is based on the proportion of the voting power they receive from voters. The problem with this is it encourages party politics where voters receive less expressiveness to pick the individuals they prefer. If individuals are selected by voters then a plurality system would be more effective or a score or ranking based on that helps to better capture the intensity of each voter's preferences for different candidates. A proportional outcome might not be as suitable for the decision examples listed as the other approaches.

  • Time required to participate - The time required to participate could be similar to other score based voting approaches as the voter would indicate the groups they prefer and what proportion of their voting power should be allocated to them.

  • Voting complexity - The main complexity with proportional voting is the issues with accepting a proportional outcome and how that might not be an effective approach for many multiple selection decisions. It also might even be problematic for selecting delegated representatives and contributors as it gives the decision of who will be selected within that proportional outcome to the group itself or it would require a further round of voting. This centralises part of the decision making process for who actually gets selected.

Total score = 4 / 15

Last updated