Assess the view that the most important feature of an electoral system is proportionality.

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Assess the view that the most important feature of an electoral system is proportionality.

Many people citizen many of the electoral systems are that they try to produce a single winner therefore distorting proportionality and the distribution of preferences among the voters. These systems are designed to produce a balance between the total number of votes and the total number of seats which it receives from the legislation. Proportionality is basically about fairness but elections are not always fair, for example, In 1997 Labour only won 44% or the votes but won 64% of the seats using the first past the post system. In a truly proportional system the labour party would only have been entitled to 44% of the seats.

Proportional representation tries to prevent this distortion between votes and seats, although it is not always successful. This is the most proportional system where votes are equal to the seats. There are many various forms of P.R, and the most commonly used one is called the P.R List system. This is used in all European countries except for the UK Ireland and France. Parties list there candidates in the order in which they want them to be elected. There are 2 variants of the list system, Closed List and Open List.

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In the closed list system is used in Israel and Spain. This system can be used in multi-member constituencies, but in Israel there is one constituency and 120 seats. Electors must simply vote for a party with an ‘X’ as they have no choice of candidate. This system usually ends up with coalitions as it is so proportional. Despite the proportionality these governments can be unstable, for example, Israel had 3 elections in four years.

The open list system is used in Belgium. It is slightly different from the closed list system as electors may vote for a ...

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