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Democracy and Elections$
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Richard S. Katz

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195044294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195044294.001.0001

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Representation: The Relationship between Seats and Votes

Representation: The Relationship between Seats and Votes

(p.119) 9 Representation: The Relationship between Seats and Votes
Democracy and Elections

Richard S. Katz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the consequences of electoral arrangements, particularly the relationship between seats and votes. It discusses the process by which distributions of votes translate into distributions of mandates among competing parties or candidates and analyses the consequences of electoral formulas as revealed in practice. It concludes that large-district proportional representation is most appropriate for those views of democracy that require the direct representation of minorities or a high degree of proportionality in the distribution of seats among parties, while plurality systems are most appropriate for views that value indirect representation of minorities.

Keywords:   electoral arrangements, votes, political seats, proportional representation, democracy, political minorities, plurality system

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