Proportional Representation: Stability and Adaptability

Proportional representation is usually expressed in a manner as being a "fair" electoral system, where if your group received 40% of the vote your group will also receive 40% of the representation. Opponents typically decry it as meaning that it can lead to a situation where a minority group, controlling the balance of power, can have undue influence. Drunkenly familiar with power, it is little surprise to discover domineering political parties reject calls for proportional representation.

However the instability issue only occurs in adversarial systems of governance, where there is a clear "government" and "opposition", leading to the different sides are undertaking every single honest and dishonest action to acquire power. This is, of course, the most familiar was that politics is conducted, and an occur in realms as high as the United Nations, to the contemporary nation-state, to regional governments, local governments, and even down to congregational churches or soccer clubs.

But what if a collegial approach was used instead, such as the Swiss Federal executive, the famous Zauberformel (French: formule magique, Italian: formula magica), where the governing body itself is all-inclusive and in proportion to the make-up of is members. In such a situation a body receives excellent stability, because the proportionality is not to engage in a destructive shift in the allocation of power, but a proportional change. Radical change would only occur when the majority wants such a change.

Such a system would also be adaptable, as it new ideas from minority factions would be introduced to the governing authority itself. Controlling factions would not derisively reject policy suggestions, but rather evaluate them as a contribution from within. It has been noticed by many that the "real work" of parliament occurs with various standing committees, whose recommendations often comes with bipartisan support. This would extend the approach to the entire legislative approach.

Another advantage that is cited less often is that proportional representation provides a more accurate representation of scope, although it must be stated that this is for unitary governments systems only. A federated system, which may have advantages in other considerations, still only provides representation as wide as the federated body, and were they are disproportionate the governing body became equally disproportionate. The Australian Senate is a notable example, where NSW has 5.13 million electors compared to Tasmania's 0.375 million (2016 AEC electoral roll). Still, at least they represent the entire state rather than a local region, such as the representatives of the House of Representatives. Those MPs, if they truly represent their constituency, should be town mayors rather than dealing with issues of national importance.

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