Or: If proportional representation is so wonderful, why doesn’t everybody use it?

The answer, of course, is that (nearly) everybody does. Below is a list of countries that use PR for national elections (source: Wikipedia). If we included countries that use PR for at least some local elections, the list would be considerably longer, and would include the United States.

The single biggest reason that the US doesn’t use PR nationally is that the US was invented a century before proportional representation (see the PR Timeline). Having grown up with single-member congressional districts, we find it hard to envision alternatives, and harder yet to actually make a change.

Here in the US, it’s perhaps most practical to introduce PR for local elections, get used to the idea, and move on to state and eventually federal elections. And before that happens, we need education on the subject.

That’s what the Proportional Representation Foundation is all about.

Algeria
Angola
Australia
Austria
Argentina
Aruba
Belgium
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cape Verde
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Equatorial Guinea
Estonia
Finland
Germany
Greece
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Lesotho
Liberia
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malta
Mexico
Moldova
New Zealand
Namibia
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
New Caledonia
Nicaragua
Northern Ireland
Norway
Paraguay
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Scotland
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
Ukraine
Uruguay
Venezuela
Wales
Wallis and Futuna

 

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