Kialo requires cookies to work correctly.
Should Parliamentary Systems Enforce Proportional Representation?
Proportional representation systems lead to more stable governments by virtue of coalition governments being formed.
has found that multiparty coalition governments tend to have higher degrees of stability and less policy change.
Proportional representation systems tend to have less elections because governments are more likely to serve their full term.
When one party holds a majority of the seats as in the parliamentary system, it is easier to resolve internal ideological tensions within the government since one party has de facto control over decision making. This creates more stable governments.
of coalition increases significantly in PR systems. Between 2000 and 2017, 23 per cent of majority/plurality systems (including first-past-the-post) produced coalition governments compared to 87 per cent for PR systems.
has found that in order to be stable, systems with proportional representation policy coalitions should be either of the center left or the center right, but should not comprise parties from both left and right of center. Stability is thus not inherent to the system.
Italy, which follows a system of proportional representation, has been forced to dissolve its parliament
times in the past 40 years due to coalitions disintegrating.
It often takes a long time to work out deals between coalition partners. This can cause insecurity and uncertainty for domestic and international economic and political actors given the future direction of government policy is virtually unknown (
Coalition building is done after the votes are cast. This means that the composition of the government can vary dramatically, both at the onset of the elections and during its term.