Fully proportional representation

Burt L. Monroe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Even though voters can have complex preferences over multiple candidates or parties, all extant electoral systems provide political representation based solely or primarily on voters’ first preferences. I present a new concept of proportional representation that takes account of voters’ preferences over the full list of alternatives—fully proportional representation (FPR)—and schemes for its implementation. I outline a “pure” FPR scheme, but because this scheme would have several undesirable features when used by real voters, I also discuss modifications that account for these difficulties. Although there are a variety of interpretations of the role played by voting in democracy, several can be shown to suggest FPR as a normative ideal. Fully proportional representation provides us with new ways to conceptualize existing electoral systems, a new standard against which alternative systems can be evaluated, and several feasible alternatives for approximating this new ideal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-940
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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