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Report No. 255

(iii) Representativeness

4.11.1. Proportional representation, as the name suggests, tries to ensure that the election results are as proportional as possible, by curbing the inconsistency between the share of seats and votes. It ensures that smaller parties get representation in the legislature, particularly when they have a broad base across constituencies. It also encourages new parties to emerge and more women and minorities to contest for political power.168

168. Approximating Democracy: A Proposal for Proportional Representation in the California Legislature', 44 LOY. L.A. L. REV. 437

4.11.2. Proportional representation, particularly the single transferable vote variant of it, also ensures that voters do not feel encumbered by tactical voting strategies in the worry that their vote might go 'waste'. In that sense, proportional representation ensures honesty in the election process both from the side of the candidate, who can choose their ideological commitments freely, and from that of the voter, who can vote freely.169

169. McKaskle, supra note 155

4.11.3. One potential drawback of this system is that the relationship between a voter and the candidate may dilute, for the candidate may now be seen as representing the party and not the constituency. The other way of looking at this is that a constituent could approach any representative of their choice in case of a grievance, which plays out as an advantage of this system.170

170. Supra note 168

4.11.4. Detractors of the list system of proportional representation point out, however, that while the method ensures that more political parties are represented, it concentrates power within a political party, in the hands of the leaders who decide on the list of candidates.



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