Proportional Representation in Most Robust Democracies

Posted by Rob Richie on March 07, 2016

The following chart lists the different voting systems used by the world's 33 major well-established democracies – defined as countries with high human and political rights ratings and at least two million inhabitants. Forms of proportional representation (PR) are by far the most common.

Of the six nations that use forms of winner-take-all voting to elect representatives for their most powerful national legislative body, only three (Canada, Ghana and the United States) do not use a form of PR for at least one of their national elections; PR is used to elect the senate in Australia and members of the European Parliament in the United Kingdom and France.

infogram_0_the_lowersingle_house_electoral_systems_of_the_worlds_most_robust_democracies_2012THE LOWER/SINGLE HOUSE ELECTORAL SYSTEMS OF THE WORLD'S MOST ROBUST DEMOCRACIES*: 2012//

Summary of Totals: 

  • Proportional Representation (23) 
    • Party List: 20 nations
    • Mixed Member PR: 2 nations
    • Single Transferable Vote: 1 nation
  • Semi-Proportional Representation (4)
    • Parallel: Parallel use of List PR and Plurality: 4 nations
  • Winner-Take-All (6)
    • Plurality Voting: 4 nations
    • Instant Runoff Voting:1 nation
    • Runoff Elections: 1 nation

Download this report as a PDF here. 

Source: Mark P. Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy’s Political Science Fellow at Rice University.

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