Proportional representation is a simple principle, derived from democratic theory, that in a representative body the share of seats won should correspond to the share of votes won. The electoral system is thus the link between the preferences of the voters and the making of policy. As Ernest Naville wrote in 1865, “In a democratic government the right of decision belongs to the majority, but the right of representation belongs to all.”
Proportional representation, or PR, is a property of electoral systems in which the makeup of the elected body closely matches the makeup of the voters, as expressed through their ballots, in contrast to majority-take-all systems, in which a majority (or even a plurality) of voters controls the makeup of the body.
In PR systems, a majority of voters will still elect a (representative) majority of a legislative body, but smaller groups have the power to elect their own representatives as well, directly via the ballot. PR is used widely around the world, but its use to date in the US has been limited.
The Proportional Representation Foundation (PR Foundation) is dedicated to public education on the subject of proportional representation as a fundamental democratic reform.