Proportional Representation is designed to give each political party approximately the same number of legislative seats as the party’s voting strength justifies. The two most common forms of proportional representation are the single-transferable vote (Hare) system and the list system. In the former. each election district generally elects several representatives to the Legislature. The voter indicates the order of preference for candidates by writing in the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on. The numerical preferences equal the number of candidates to be elected. A quota of votes is worked out that will entitle the candidate to a seat.
The list system is the most common type of proportional representation. Prior to an election, the party draws up lists of candidates, equal to the number of seats contested in the multi-member district, rank-ordering the names of the candidates. The larger the percentage of the party vote, the more people are elected from the list. The list system was used in Weimar Germany (1919-1933), The French Fourth Republic (1946—1958), and is employed now in Israel, Italy, and the Netherlands. List- proportional representation reduces popular control—the party, not the voters, selects the names on the list and their rank order.
The lower the position on the list, the less likely it is the candidate will be elected. Power is in the hands of the party hierarchy. Also, the list is a simple device. The voters only need to identify with the party or its symbol: however, they may feel isolated from the government because they have no specific representative with whom they can identify and to whom they can turn. The immediate responsibility of the representative is to the party organization, not the voters.
On election day the voters mark on their ballots the party list of their choice with an Furthermore. voters may. if they so desire, write on the ballot the names of their 3 or 4 preferred candidates from among those on the party list. The preference votes help to determine who from among the candidates will be elected. If a party in the first district is entitled to 4 deputies, the 4 list candidates having received the highest number of votes are elected After all the votes have been counted, the parliamentary seats assigned to each district are distributed among the parties on the basis of proportional representation.
In other words. a district’s number of seats is allocated to the parties according to the percentage of votes that each party polled. Remaining percentage fractions and unassigned seats from all districts are transferred to a national electoral pool in Rome and are distributed by that body proportionally to the parties. Thus, each party will receive a number of parliamentary seats generally in to its percent- age of the total vote.”