Proportional Voting Around the World
Around the world, a variety of voting systems are used - from single member districts to choice voting to party list systems (and everything in between) - the nations within our global community display a staggering array of voting systems. In spite of this, one thing is clear -- the modern trend is toward using proportional voting systems, as most industrialized nations and all of the newly emerging democracies in the former Eastern Bloc have done, as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of the lingering winner-take-all, first-past-the-post systems exist in former British colonies, including in the United States. Ironically, even as we maintain our own unrepresentative electoral system in America, the United Kingdom is beginning vigorous discussions to move away from the very winner-take-all system it brought to our shores many years ago. In light of these global developments, FairVote monitors news coverage of international electoral systems changes.
  • For information on international electoral systems, please download IDEA's manual. [.pdf - 3.2 MB]
  • For examples of international ballot designs, please visit Andrew Reynold's site. [More]
  • For information on redistricting procedures around the world, please visit EPIC's site. [More]
  • Read our analysis of international elections using proportional voting in 2005. [More]

March 7th 2003
Female, seeking public office? Better try Sweden
The Toronto Globe

A Canadian paper reports that women in the developing world are better represented than women in Canada and other Western democracies who do not use proportional representation.

March 5th 2003
Electoral system stays as is

March 5th 2003
Sword alleges ALP branch-stacking
The Age

March 4th 2003
Devolution remains popular despite problems with Good Friday Agreement
Economic and Social Research Council

March 2nd 2003
Estonia Holds Parliamentary Elections
VOA News

March 1st 2003
How To Enact Progressive Policy
Progressive Populist

Commentary by Steven Hill and Rob Richie touting election reform as a means to enact progressive social legislation.

March 1st 2003
Major changes in the house as the mice all roar
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

February 27th 2003
MP pushes for proportional representation
Ghanaian Chronicle

February 27th 2003
SWAPO Members 'Want Ward System'
The Namibian (Windhoek)

February 27th 2003
Cumulative voting might be county board reality

Article discusses the potential for cumulative voting returning for county board elections in Illinois.

February 26th 2003
Marginalised Need Better Access to the Workings of Parliament
Business Day (Johannesburg)

February 26th 2003
Retaining the commission's size and implementing cumulative voting would help minority representation, group said
Mobile Register

A local Baldwin County (AL) citizens group is hoping to change the county election system by implementing a cumulative voting system to elect a seven-member commission.

February 23rd 2003
Daily Times, Pakistan
35 in race for 22 Senate seats from NWFP

February 21st 2003
Bill Gives Power to Voters
Northwest Herald

The McHenry County (IL) Board is battling over a new bill that would implement cumulative voting and provide citizens with a chance to decide what form of government they want in their county.

February 21st 2003
Bill targets county board elections
Champaign-Urbana News Gazette

Discusses the effort to adopt cumulative voting in Illinois.

February 21st 2003
Choice Voting Passes By Over 1000 Votes
California Aggie

UC-Davis Students approve Choice Voting Amendment to help improve voter turnout.

February 16th 2003
For sale: Euro seats
Warsaw Business Journal

February 16th 2003
Bargaining for Senate seats in full swing
Hi Pakistan

February 15th 2003
Forging a Vibrant Democracy
Progressive Populist

Commentary by Rob Richie and Steven Hill explaining how electoral reform might reassert the democratic traditions passed down from our nation's founders.

February 12th 2003
Scargill to stand in Welsh elections
The Guardian

February 10th 2003
Ron Davies warns Labour of Plaid victory
The Western Mail

February 9th 2003
Monaco Votes For Parliamentary Seats
Associated Press

February 7th 2003
Handicapping the Tories
Halifax Daily News

February 7th 2003
Marwick on attack after PR bill defeated
The Herald

February 5th 2003
Nystrom and Proctor get nod for critic posts

February 4th 2003
Council vote changes outlined
BBC News

February 3rd 2003
Little to lose: opposition in Azerbaijan

February 2nd 2003
The Disabled Must Be Visible Law
The East African Standard

February 1st 2003
Karami says “small election district” best
Daily Star, Lebanon

January 30th 2003
PM initiates dialogue with party leaders: Sub-Committee for Electoral Reforms
Sri Lanka Daily News

January 30th 2003
Liberia: Taylor Seeks Re-Election, Despite Growing Opposition
Inter Press Service

January 29th 2003
Was return to single ballot a mistake?

January 28th 2003
PR on the backburner
The Guardian

January 27th 2003
Israel Votes, But Little Will Change:

January 27th 2003
An Israeli democrat's lament
Israel Insider

January 26th 2003
Layton vows to put debate back in Canadian politics
CBC News Online

January 23rd 2003
Canada Prof lobbies for electoral change
CBC New Brunswick

January 22nd 2003
Political Scientists from 34 Canadian universities call for national referendum on electoral reform.
Fair Vote Canada

January 20th 2003
Reasonings: Democracy under threat?
Barbados Daily Nation

January 14th 2003
Election 2002: Why The Democrats Lost
The Black World Today

Commentary by Manning Marable advocates full representation and instant runoff voting to spur more participation.

January 9th 2003
Party List System Needs to Change
Business Day (Johannesburg)

January 8th 2003
Pro-EU alliance emerging:
Di-ve News

January 6th 2003
NDP front-runner promises referendum
The Vancouver Sun

January 6th 2003
Voting change would be fitting legacy, say campaigners
The Guardian

January 2nd 2003
Patrick Quinn on Patrick Quinn
Chicago Tribune

Editorial on Lt. Governor-elect advocates return to Illinois' cumulative voting past.

December 18th 2002
Healthy Next Steps for Democracy in Santa Monica Part II
Santa Monica Mirror

The introduction of the single transferable vote to Santa Monica's existing proportional representation system is posed as an improvement.

December 18th 2002
Healthy Next Steps for Democracy in Santa Monica – Part II
Santa Monica Mirror

Commentary by Santa Monica City Councilmember Michael Feinstein.

December 9th 2002
Lott, Landrieu, and the Politics of Race
Asian Week

Article suggests that proportional representation could promote greater racial equality in political voice and representation.

November 25th 2002
Distribution of parliamentary seats is unfair
East African Standard

November 24th 2002
Austrians Begin Voting, Outcome Wide Open

November 23rd 2002
Law Could Ease Land Rows
The East African Standard

November 20th 2002
Winner-take-all 2-party system restricts political debate
Tacoma News Tribune

Commentary by John Burbank of the Economic Opportunity Institute.

November 19th 2002
Green Party at UC Davis Launches Diversity and Democracy Campaign
Press Release

UC Davis Green Party pushes for IRV

November 18th 2002
True representation in a democracy
The Oregonian

Author suggests a form of proportional representation that is worthy of debate, if not support.

November 13th 2002
Ruining the House

Currently, the House has become much less competitive and less likely to change compared to the Senate due to redistricting and gerrymandering politics.

November 10th 2002
'Just Elections' - democracy's mechanics
Baltimore Sun

Review of new book by a well-known philosopher that touts cumulative voting.

November 7th 2002
Women gain ground in state Capitol but say they have a way to go
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Considering the 29 recently elected women in government positions, Wisconsin is setting a precedent for the role of women in politics.

November 5th 2002
America Votes Today. Will You?
New York Times

FairVote's Steven Hill argues that the concealed differences between the Republican and Democratic parties are a result of our winner-take-all election system.

November 3rd 2002
Politics, Incumbency Style

Columnist Rosanna Perotti discusses proportional representation as a solution to monopoly politics.

November 2nd 2002
Election Selection Are we using the worst voting procedure?
Science News

A mathematical analysis of plurality and ranked ballot voting systems and their implications. CVD representatives are quoted.

November 1st 2002
Review of "Fixing Elections: The Failure of America's Winner Take All Politics" by Steven Hill
Yale Magazine

Yale alumnus David Baker's favorable review of CVD Senior Analyst Steven Hill's new book.

October 31st 2002
Time for Real Choices, Not Echoes

A critique of winner-take-all elections from CVD Chair John B. Anderson. Commentary ran in several additional newspapers.

October 29th 2002
Cure for Low Turnout
New York Times

FairVote Chair John B. Anderson argues that our democracy needs instant runoff voting (IRV) to give third parties a chance in elections and eliminate the spoiler effect.

October 18th 2002
Russia: Centrists Propose Changing Electoral Law
Radio Free Europe

October 14th 2002
State Duma Speaker Favors 5 Percent Threshold for Parties in 2003 Parliamentary Elections

October 10th 2002
Waukesha native hopes to pocket some local support:
Milwaukee Freeman

Wisconsin's Green Party Gubernatorial candidate, Jim Young, speaks out against the unfair advantages Republican and Democratic candidates have over third party candidates.

October 6th 2002
Voters are electing to stay home
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist touts Steven Hill's "Fixing Elections"

October 5th 2002
Green Party candidate Camejo counts on voter disdain for Gray Walnut Creek businessman won't be governor but moves his party forward, broadening its appeal
Oakland Tribune

Gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo has a strong chance of winning the election from support by the Latino community and the Green Party.

September 26th 2002
Florida isn't alone: Democracy's infrastructure is decrepit
Tallahassee Democrat

CVD's Steven Hill and Rob Richie look at the state of American democracy and what we can do to better it.

September 19th 2002
Formulas For a Clean Election

FairVote's Matthew Cossolotto argues that Congress needs to pass more meaningful election reform legislation, such as proportional voting methods or instant runoff voting (IRV), to ensure that each vote counts.

August 16th 2002
A way to motivate America's 'orphaned voters'
Seattle Times

Author discusses Fixing Elections and the sensibility of alternatives to our current winner-take-all system.

August 12th 2002
Election Day options studied
Honolulu Advertiser

Article describing virtues of different electoral reforms including choice voting, instant runoff voting, and cumulative voting.

July 26th 2002
Framed Up: What the Constitution gets wrong

FairVote's Hendrik Hertzberg contends that the U.S. and other countries that use winner-take-all elections have poor ratings of "democratic fairness" and "encouraging consensus" compared to other countries that use proportional representation.

July 5th 2002
District is in vanguard of reform

Cumulative voting in Amarillo has contributed to a greater number of nonwhite and female members on the School District board. Since 2000, the new voting system has improved the proportionality of winning candidates to the voting population.

July 5th 2002
How well is AISD's cumulative-voting system working?
Amarillo Globe-News

June 27th 2002
Will Voters Ever Settle Again for 2 Choices?
The Star Tribune

Article about third party candidates in Minnesota.

June 11th 2002
Santa Rosa vote plan: How it works elsewhere
Press Democrat

Article about the results of cumulative voting in Santa Rosa and elsewhere, including commentary from CVD's Caleb Kleppner.

May 12th 2002
Cumulative vote results mixed
Amarillo Globe-News

A voting system intended to help minorities get elected primarily benefited an incumbent white man and a Hispanic woman in the recent Amarillo Independent School District board of trustees election.

May 8th 2002
Utah GOP alters vote method
Deseret News

Preferential voting comes to Utah and has a substantive impact on local elections.

May 7th 2002
A Voting Reform That Works Is Transforming Texas
The Nation

FairVote's Joleen Garcia is quoted on the effects of cumulative voting for minority representation in a local Amarillo, TX independent school district board.

May 5th 2002
Two first-timers join AISD board

Post-election results on Amarillo's Independent School Board election, which used cumulative voting to select its members.

May 5th 2002
Two first timers join AISD board
Amarillo Globe-News

April 28th 2002
Cumulative Voting Gets Second Look
Decatur Herald and Review

Article on the attempts to bring cumulative voting back to Illinois.

April 28th 2002
AISD election again eyes cumulative voting outcome
Amarillo Globe-News

April 14th 2002
The Road to Electoral Reform is open
Rockford Register-Star

CVD's John Anderson discusses the opportunities for systemic reform

April 12th 2002
Some vote 3 times, legally
San Antonio Express-News

An article on the use of cumulative voting in San Antonio's Navarro district school board elections

April 7th 2002
Cumulative vote set for 2nd act
Amarillo Globe-News

March 17th 2002
Pat Quinn's 'reform' made Legislature worse
Rockford Register-Star

This editorial laments the loss of cumulative voting in Illinois

February 14th 2002
Still Independent-Minded: One-time Presidential Candidate Continues Push for Multiparty System
Roll Call

January 13th 2002
Our unduly selected representatives
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tom Brazaitis suggests multi-member districts as a remedy in this critique of the redistricting process.

January 7th 2002
Redistricting abuses voter trust

FairVote's Rob Richie and Steven Hill argue that redistricting is a manipulative and partisan tool used by political parties to change the outcome of elections.

December 27th 2001
Ugly redistricting map spotlights system's flaws
Baltimore Sun

FairVote's Eric Olson shows how personal and partisan concerns have influenced Maryland redistricting, proposing proportional representation from one large multi-member district as the remedy.

October 21st 2001
Empowering Political Minorities
Washington Post

A bill introducing single-member congressional districts that might benefit minorities in Maryland is unlikely to pass; FairVote's Eric Olson and Jamin Raskin recommend cumulative voting instead.

September 1st 2001
Wasted Votes?
Boston Review

FairVote executive director Rob Richie comments on Stephen Ansolabehere's essay in the Boston Review. He argues that to address wasted votes, we need new equipment and standards to allow for instant runoff voting and full representation.

August 8th 2001
Green Party Candidate Finds He's a Rpublican Pawn

Republican party motives to increase the number of Green Party candidates on the ballot have caused outrage among both the Democrats and the Greens.

August 7th 2001
Look to the States for Real Reform
Knight Ridder Wire

FairVote's chairman discusses the viability of instant runoff voting and proportional representation through state legislation.

July 22nd 2001

WMAQ-TV, Chicago

The Illinois cutback amendment was damaging to democracy as it concentrated power in the hands of very few legislative leaders, and the move to add members to the House is a great idea.

July 19th 2001
Signs of voting reform encouraging

FairVote's Rob Richie is quoted on the national influence instant runoff voting (IRV) can have if implemented in San Fransisco (CA).

July 18th 2001
Proportional representation gives everyone a reason to get out and vote
Tacoma News Tribune

The winner-take-all system is bashed after many Washington state legislature lose candidates by less than 1%.

July 16th 2001
Let's bring back old way of voting
Chicago Sun-Times

Current voting system in Illinois stifles competition, and the remedy would be to introduce cumulative voting, which would provide more representative, inclusive and democratic Legislature.

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