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]

November 14th 2006
Hain's PR ban could result in a 'crisis' in Wales
IC Wales

The Welsh Secretary of State has come out against proportional representation (PR)in local elections. Many believe this is a political move, saying that the Labour party supported PR when they were not the majority party.

November 14th 2006
Voters approve Measure L
The California Aggie

Although choice voting has not yet been implemented in Davis, California, the November 7 elections were a crucial first step.

November 11th 2006
Should BC go to Single Transferable Vote system?
CKNW 980 News Talk Sports

British Columbia will hold a referendum on single transferable voting (STV) in May 2009.

November 10th 2006
Kyrgyzstan Steps Back From the Brink
Institute for War and Peace Reporting

Kyrgystan's new constitution states that half of the ninety parliament delegates will be elected by proportional representation.

November 8th 2006
Arms Management and Proclamation of Interim Constitution by Nov. 21
The Rising Nepal

General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal still supports proportional representation in Nepali government, despite the compromise reached in historic peace talks.

November 7th 2006
Democratic reform high on Manitoba PC agenda
Winnipeg Free Press Live

Manitoba Conservatives are strengthening their policy agenda for the next provincial election, and reforming the electoral system to include proportional representation is high on the list.

November 3rd 2006
Reversing voter apathy
The Herald

Education on the the new electoral system is an important part of selling single transferable vote (STV) to voters in Scotland.

November 1st 2006
Lines of demarcation
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FairVote research cited in this commentary on lopsided redistricting, uncompetitive districts and the party primary battles they inspire.

October 31st 2006
A1 Plus

Proportional voting is necessary to a healthy Aremanian democracy, claims the head of the National Democratic Party.

October 30th 2006
Measure L asks Davis to consider choice voting
California Aggie

The Davis (CA) Measure L effort to use choice voting gets more good press.

October 30th 2006
Electile Dysfunction?
News Release Wire

Former FairVote President Matthew Cossolotto calls for a range of reforms, highlighting two problems of American democracy: "counting the votes" and "making votes count."

October 29th 2006
Ghai returns with alternative draft Constitution
The Sunday Times (Kenya)

A Kenyan professor proposes changes to his country's mixed-member system that would ensure better representation for women and the disabled.

October 29th 2006
Making every vote count
Guardian Unlimited

U.K. political commentator notes the growing acceptance of electoral reforms like IRV and proportional voting among those in the ruling Labour Party.

October 28th 2006
Armenia: Politics Without Women
A1Plus Armenian News

Armenian reformers want to move women nearer to the tops of party lists during their elections under proportional voting.

October 25th 2006
Bill paves way for voting-reform referendum

A question about adopting proportional representation will appear on Ontario's 2007 ballot, but 60 percent approval is needed for the measure to pass. Opponents call this requirement "undemocratic".

October 25th 2006
Voters have a choice
The Davis Enterprise

Good coverage for the Davis Choice Voting campaign, with informative Q&A.

October 20th 2006
Minor parties may have upper hand
Star News Group

The State Government of Victoria, Australia is switching from preferential voting in two-member districts to proportional representation in five-member districts. This change will give minority parties their best chance yet of winning representation.

October 14th 2006
Editorial: A worthy experiment
Sacramento Bee

The Bee endorses advisory Measure L to bring choice voting to Davis, CA.

October 13th 2006
10 years on MMP has delivered plenty
Scoop Independent News

Implemented ten years ago, New Zealand's mixed member proportional representation electoral system is serving the country well, argues Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

September 27th 2006
Seven Palestinian factions call for a new political program based on proportional representation
The Journal of Turkish Weekly

Seven Palestinian factions call for proportional representation to overcome Hamas and Fatah monopoly on Palestinian politics.

September 26th 2006
Working toward a fairer electoral system
The Abbotsford News

As British Columbia prepares for a long awaited referendum on a proportional voting system, electoral remapping has to be considered.

September 21st 2006
Choose it or lose it?
Sacramento News and Review

Choice voting would ensure majority rule in city council elections where large numbers of candidates run, according to this overview of the Measure L vote in Davis, CA.

September 20th 2006
Lobby group calls for referendum on electoral reform
CBC News

Larry Gordon, Executive Director of Fair Vote Canada, argues that proportional voting is needed to stop the trend of parties losing the popular vote and winning the election in New Brunswick.

September 2nd 2006
How to democratize government
Minneapolis Star Tribune

A Minneapolis-area resident calls for IRV and proportional voting as means to increase voter participation and diversity of opinion in legislatures.

August 21st 2006
Yemen�s electoral system
Yemen Times

Journalist speculating on electoral reform in Yemen concludes proportional voting would yield more a professional, pluralistic legislature.

August 19th 2006
Eliminate districts
Contra Costa Times

CA resident calls for proportional voting in one statewide district as a congressional redistricting reform.

July 21st 2006
GOP Redistricting
The Austin Chronicle

FairVote executive director Rob Richie is quoted on proportional voting as the solution to the problem of gerrymandering in Texas.

July 20th 2006
Proportional Election System for the Constituent Assembly
Nepal News

A Nepali journalist argues proportional voting would result in a fairer constituent assembly as his country considers sweeping reforms.

July 18th 2006
Redistricting Reformers Renew Push
Roll Call

FairVote Chair John Anderson along with other congressional allies make strong call for Congress to consider representative John Tanner's (D) Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act (H.R. 2642).

July 17th 2006
Repairing American democracy
The Seattle Times

Syndicated columnist Neal Pierce profiles Steven Hill's new book 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy, which advocates several FairVote reform proposals including the right to vote, a national popular vote, instant runoff voting, and proportional re

July 13th 2006
Davis to offer 'choice' to voters
Sacramento Bee

FairVote Program Director David Moon is quoted extensively on the merits of choice voting in Davis (CA) where voters will vote in November on whether to recommend it for future city elections.

July 10th 2006
KPFA Election for Local Board of Directors

Berkeley's FPFA-FM to use proportional voting for 2006 board elections.

July 9th 2006
New districts in harmony with one person, one vote
Amarillo Globe-News

FairVote's Jack Santucci wants Amarillo, TX to add City Commissioners to the offices it elects under cumulative voting.

July 9th 2006
Break down barriers to minority parties
The Baltimore Sun

Ralph Nader advocates a variety of FairVote's reforms including instant runoff voting and proportional voting as well as an openness to third parties.

July 8th 2006
How to Get Real Elections
Capital Times

Editorial takes up Rob Richie's call for proportional voting as a solution to congressional redistricting problems.

June 28th 2006
Justices Back Most G.O.P. Changes to Texas Districts
New York Times

FairVote's Executive Director Rob Richie is quoted in a condemnation of unfair redistricting practices in Texas.

June 28th 2006
Reform DeLayed
The Nation

An article on the Texas redistricting includes a call from FairVote's Rob Richie for political measures to be taken to prevent such events from occurring again.

June 28th 2006
AC opts for new voting method
Amarillo Globe-News

Amarillo, TX follows the experience of its school board, adopting cumulative voting for college regents elections.

June 26th 2006
Consensus Requires Fair Representation
Progressive Populist

FairVote's David Moon suggests proportional voting as the solution to the divergent political views in the Herndon, VA town council elections.

June 24th 2006
Another take on how we elect commissioners
Chapel Hill News

FairVote's Jack Santucci is quoted in an editorial suggesting at-large elections in Orange County, NC would see more cooperative campaigns under cumulative voting.

June 18th 2006
Where politicians dare to tread
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorses the British Columbia Citizens Assembly approach to electoral reform, specifically noting the potential for proportional representation in California.

June 14th 2006
Constituent assembly should ensure proportional representation: US scholar

Nepal News

U.S. scholar advises Nepal to elect its constituent assembly under proportional voting as step toward a fairer constitution.

June 1st 2006
Bob Carr sparkles at US themed hour
The Australian

Bob Carr interviews FairVote Board Member Hendrik Hertzberg and discusses the importance of FairVote's work on Electoral College Reform and the Program for Representative Government.

June 1st 2006
Finland's trailblazing path for women
BBC News

With its open list system of proportional voting, Finland is a world leader in women's representation.

May 30th 2006
Nation Goes to Polls Wednesday
Korea Times

South Koreans are electing local administrators and councils under a list proportional voting system after that country's court ruled winner-take-all systems unconstitutional. The franchise has been extended to foreigners and 19 year-olds.

May 24th 2006
Democratizing the Legislature � Proportional Representation
California Chronicle

CA Sec. of State candidate Forrest Hill argues proportional voting would increase voter choice and legislative responsiveness. To get there, unrepresented groups across the spectrum must unite in their demand.

May 16th 2006
Electoral reform on minority candidates
Kuwait Times

FairVote's Jack Santucci is quoted on the effects of Kuwait's proposed electoral reform package on representation of political minorities.

May 4th 2006
Rework republic's governance
University Daily Kansan

A KU student argues proportional voting is a Founding Fathers-supported way to boost voter choice, accountability and effective votes. Note that state-based proportional voting would not require a constituional amendment.

April 27th 2006
Proportional Voting Right for Merged Community
The Essex Reporter

Village community leader Elaine Sopchak argues proportional voting will bring fair representation and political participation to a newly merged Essex, VT.

April 20th 2006
How Important Is the Quid Pro Quo?
Mother Jones

Steven Hill links recent Congressional scandals with the lack of accountability and pay-to-play political system inherent in winner-take-all single member districts.

April 16th 2006
Before the robots marched on Springfield
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois Republicans are on the way to an amendment restoring cumulative voting for state house elections.

March 23rd 2006
Wrenner urges proportional voting for merged community
The Essex Reporter

Essex, VT resident Irene Wrenner wants the Merger Task Force to take proportional voting seriously as a voter-friendly way to increase participation, cooperation and fairness in the merged community.

March 21st 2006
Real redistricting reform is proportional representation
San Francisco Examiner

Rob Dickinson of Californians for Electoral Reform writes a commentary on how recent proposals to make the redistricting process fairer miss the mark. For real progress in how we elect our representatives, we need to turn to proportional voting.

March 16th 2006
Don't Waver Now!
The Essex Reporter

A Village resident and League of Women Voters member diagnoses the winner-take-all syndrome in Essex, VT and endorses proportional voting as a remedy for the Town and Village to consider as they discuss a merger.

March 1st 2006
Tanner redistricting bill gains Senate sponsor
The Hill

Senator Tim Johnson introduced a companion bill to Rep. John Tanner's federal redistricting reform legislation. The identical bills, supported by FairVote, would set up state commissions to handle redistricting only once a decade.

February 8th 2006
Vote System Gave Hamas Huge Victory
Hartford Courant

An op-ed by New America Foundation Fellow Steven Hill discusses how Palestine's partial winner-take-all system gave Hamas a parliamentary majority despite its narrow electoral plurality.

January 27th 2006
Lok Satta launches 'Voteindia'

Indian reformers have formed an NGO to pursue proportional voting in the world's largest democracy.

January 27th 2006
Lawmakers promote 'citizens assembly' for California
San Francisco Chronicle

A bipartisan team of state Assemblymen take on the CA legislature, sponsoring an amendment to call a Citizens Assembly on election reform, based on FairVote's model legislation and may spotlight voting system reform.

January 26th 2006
Almost 100 parties to fight election
Hermanus Times

South Africa is holding municipal elections under a proportional voting system.

December 29th 2005
George Bush's Annus Horribilis
LA City Beat

FairVote's Rob Richie and our Monopoly Politics report are referenced in this piece, along with the distorting effects that winner-take-all has on our politics.

December 25th 2005
Our two-party system is ripe for change
Miami Herald (and other publications)

Former Congressman, independent Presidential contender and current FairVote Board Chair John Anderson on the party duopoly, limited voter choice, partisan bickering and winner-take-all elections.

December 20th 2005
Overhaul of state electoral system sought

Following on the heels of the defeat of redistricting reform in California, Republican and Democratic legislators plan on introducing legislation to create a citizens assembly for election reform and discuss proportional voting for the state.

December 16th 2005
Ballot-Box Blues?
Student Leader

An article appearing in a publication of the American Student Government Association that outlines alternative voting methods, such as IRV, STV, and FPTP, and analyzes the applicability of these systems to student elections.

December 13th 2005
Honor Rosa Parks

While the U.S. government promotes proportional voting as a means of civic inclusion in Iraq, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. argues the homefront is marked by an "inequality gap."

December 12th 2005
The Safe Seat Pandemic
Tom Paine

FairVote's Executive Director, Rob Richie, highlights the proportional voting solution to our nation's redistricting woes. These alternatives to winner-take-all elections would provide the competition and choice redistricting reformers seek.

December 11th 2005
A Dramatic Idea for Election Reform
New York Times

A Times reader highlights the fundamental weakness of any single-member district-based system: gerrymandering is unavoidable.

December 11th 2005
The World Closely Watches the Success of the Upcoming Presidential Vote
Miami Herald

Haiti's winner-take-all election system prevents groups from finding representation and exacerbates social tension, despite runoffs and high rates of voter registration.

December 9th 2005
Where Elections Should Turn
The Washington Post

In response to the current two-party dominance in Congress, a Washington Post reader suggests proportional voting systems as a key vehicle for giving voters alternatives to the major parties many of them have lost faith in.

December 6th 2005
Voter disaffection an opening for third party?

FairVote's Rob Richie is quoted on the growing desire for independent politics and voter choice in this fascinating discussion of the history of third parties.

December 6th 2005
Opposition Parties Announce Sweeping Political Reform
Yemen Observer

Yemeni opposition advocates proportional voting as part of civil liberties and social inclusion reform package.

December 5th 2005
For Liberal Parties, a Win of Sorts in Moscow
The Washington Post

Thanks to Moscow's system of semi-proportional voting, opposition to Russia's ruling party will be represented in the city parliament and have a chance to build support as the 2007 national vote approaches.

November 27th 2005
Waiting for the Sun Gods
Asian Tribune

Article discussing the problems created by winner-take-all voting systems for Sri Lanka, as well as the likely benefits of a proportional representation system in providing minority representation and stopping distortions in representation.

November 26th 2005
Critics cry foul over tough rules for P.E.I. plebiscite on voting reform
Canadian Press

Article discussing Prince Edward Island's future referendum on proportional representation, as well as critics' charges of unfair election rules, such as too high a threshold for passage and a reduction in the number of polling locations.

November 23rd 2005
Phillipine Headline News

Article discussing proposed amendments to the constitution of the Phillipines, designed to dismantle political dynasties. The mixed-member form of proportional representation is seriously discussed as a piece of this reform package.

November 23rd 2005
Smells like a smart system for state's primary elections
Seattle Times

FairVote board member, Krist Novoselic, argues that a ranked choice voting system could solve many of conflicts that have arisen in the course of Washington state's attempts to adopt a top-two primary system.

November 19th 2005
Redistricting reform: How best to tackle ultra-safe districts
Sacramento Bee

FairVote's Rob Richie argues in commentary running in several newspapers that redistricting reformers must challenge winner-take-all elections.

November 16th 2005
In Canada, regular folks are put to work on reforms
San Jose Mercury News

Steven Hill prescribes a citizens assembly as a solution for achieving consensus on redistricting reform in California.

November 15th 2005
Citizens Must Drive Electoral Reform
Roll Call

Heather Gerken of Harvard Law suggests a citizens assembly as one means to achieve redistricting reform and buy-in from voters.

November 14th 2005
The Redistricting Game: Parties 2, Citizens 0
Capital Commentary, Center for Public Justice

Center for Public Justice commentary calling for proportional representation as an alternative to redistricting reform from a generally centrist, religious perspective.

November 14th 2005
MPs urged to end 'first-past-the-post' election system
The Independent

British electoral reform groups and members of parliament discuss the need for electoral reform and plan to announce the release of reform legislation entitled, the Electoral Choice Bill.

November 13th 2005
Arnold had the right idea about redistricting
The Herald News

The Herald News cites Fairvote with commentary about the dangers of Gerrmandering and redistricting obstacles.

November 13th 2005
ARNOLD AGONIZES: How the election changed the governor -- and California
San Francisco Chronicle

Article discussing the recent failure of redistricting reform in California and the potential solution in letting the citizens decide through a Citizens Assembly on Election Reform.

November 8th 2005
Unique voting getting display today
Cambridge Day

Choice voting, as used in Cambridge, MA, was on display in the November 2005 municipal elections. This article highlights the benefits of the system, including discouraging negative campaigning and fair representation.

November 8th 2005
Gerrymandering narrows Dem's 2006 edge
Roll Call

Using FairVote's Monopoly Politics projection model, Roll Call cites Rob Richie in an exploration of possible seat changes for the House in 2006.

November 6th 2005
N.J., Va. Governor Campaigns Get Nasty
AP National

FairVote's Rob Richie quoted in this article covering the negative campaigning saturating 2005's off-year gubernatorial races.

November 2nd 2005
California, Ohio to vote on redistricting changes
Washington Post

FairVote's Rob Richie gets the last word on lack of voter choice in our elections, as this wire article reports on redistricting reform efforts in California and Ohio.

November 2nd 2005
How Money Buys Power in American Politics

Francis X. Clines, an editorial board member for the New York Times, writes on national politics, gerrymandering and the resultant decreased competitiveness in Congressional elections. Fairvote is cited.

October 29th 2005
Iraq election to offer voters legions of candidates
Reuters India

Article discussing the proportional voting system to be used for Iraq's historic December 2005 parliamentary elections.

October 27th 2005
To Tame Polarization Of Politics, Fix Our Redistricting System
Roll Call

October 26th 2005
A better system
Northwest Explorer

Steve Withers, National Executive Member of New Zealand's Electoral Reform Coalition describes his countries experiences with dumping winner-take-all for proportional representation.

October 25th 2005
Why Bother Voting?
Washington Post

FairVote research cited in editorial on gerrymandered districts

October 23rd 2005
Who Should Redistrict?

The New York Times Magazine explains the dilemmas many states, including California, face as they attempt to create competitive and fair congressional districts. Dean Murphy cites FairVote's statistics.

October 18th 2005
City of Davis considers switch to Choice Voting in elections
The California Aggie

Davis officials consider using choice voting as a way to better represent the interests of their citizens.

October 15th 2005
Wamp fresh leadership for sagging Republicans
The Tennessean

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the Republican party should seize the opportunity to embrace electoral reforms, and take the lead on ending gerrymandering.

October 13th 2005
Electoral reform clears House
ANSA Italian News

Italy's House passes a new proportional representation plan, after over a decade of using a hybrid winner-take-all, and limited proportional representation plan.

October 10th 2005
Electoral Reforms Undergo Revision

Italy pushes forward with plans to switch back to full proportional representation, after several years of using a first-past-the-post system.

October 10th 2005
See the Uganda we want to have
New Vision Online

Opinion piece advocating proportional representation for Ugandan elections, to promote women's representation and cooperation.

October 10th 2005
Council to discuss post-2007 electoral changes
Buchan Observer

The Aberdeenshire Council weighs the pros and cons of adopting choice voting for Council elections.

October 9th 2005
Parties Agree to Female Representation, even President.
Yemen Observer (Vol. VIII Issue 40)

Yemen's political parties look to proportional representation systems to alleviate under-representation of women.

October 5th 2005
Mapping the way to a better system
Boston Herald

Why Massachusetts should turn a critical eye towards gerrymandering. This article mentions Fairvote.

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