Proportional Representation Systems

Candidates win seats as a function of the proportion of votes won by their party in their district.

Examples of Proportional Representation Systems

List Proportional Representation

How It Works:
There are fewer, or possibly only one, electoral districts, within which multiple candidates are elected.

How You Vote:
You cast a single vote for your preferred party, or in some cases your preferred candidate.

Political parties are awarded a proportion of seats based on the proportion of votes they received.

Example:
Party A receives 30% of the vote.
They are awarded 30% of the seats in the legislature.
Of Yukon's current 19 seats, Party A would receive 6.

Who Decides Which Individual Candidates Win Seats:
There are two types of List Proportional Representation system: closed and open.

Closed:
Each party ranks their potential candidates internally. Those ranked lists are not available to the public. As each party is awarded seats, they are allocated to candidates according to that party’s rank order.

Open:
The parties’ ranked lists are available to the public.

Alternatively, voters may vote for a single candidate. The party affiliation of that candidate contributes to the proportional vote, while the individual candidate's total votes determines their ranking within their party's list.

Things To Consider:
As there may be as few as one electoral district, the elected candidates may not accurately represent the variety of communities and populations of the Yukon.

This system increases the likelihood of minority or coalition governments, as parties in a multi-party system are less likely to receive a majority of votes.

Single Transferable Vote


How It Works:
There are fewer, or possibly only one, electoral districts, within which multiple candidates are elected.

How You Vote:
You rank the candidates in your district by preference.

Candidates are elected when they cross a designated threshold of votes.

What Happens When A Candidate Passes the Electoral Threshold:
When a candidate crosses the electoral threshold after a round of voting, their surplus votes are reallocated to the other candidates based on the next-highest rankings.

This process continues each time a candidate crosses the threshold.

What If Candidates Do Not Pass the Electoral Threshold:
If no candidate receives enough votes to cross the electoral threshold after the first round of voting, the candidate with the lowest number of first-rank votes is eliminated.

The second-rank votes from the eliminated candidate are allocated to the remaining candidates.

This continues until the requisite number of candidates receive enough votes to cross the electoral threshold.

Things To Consider:
As there may be as few as one electoral district, the elected candidates may not accurately represent the variety of communities and populations of the Yukon.

Candidates run “at large”, meaning they are not only in competition with candidates from other parties, but also their own party.

Parties may opt to field fewer candidates in order to better ensure the likelihood of crossing the electoral threshold.

The vote counting system is incredibly complex, not only in terms of determining the electoral threshold, but also in determining how “surplus” votes are identified and reallocated. Which of a candidate’s votes are “surplus” and which are part of their threshold total - this question also determines which second-rank votes are reallocated.

Single Non-Transferable Vote


How It Works:
There are fewer, or possibly only one, electoral districts, within which multiple candidates are elected.

How You Vote:
You vote for a single candidate in your district.

The candidates with the highest number of votes win the district and fill that district’s designated number of seats.

Things To Consider:
As there may be as few as one electoral district, the elected candidates may not accurately represent the variety of communities and populations of the Yukon.

It is possible that a single candidate from one party may receive a large number of votes, but multiple candidates from another party split fewer votes. If all three are elected, their parties would be disproportionately represented.

Example:
Candidate A (Party A) receives 500 votes, while other Party A candidates receive under 100.

Candidates B and C (Party B) each receive 100 votes.

Candidates A, B, and C are elected. Party A receives only one seat to Party B’s two, despite having more than double Party B’s number of votes.

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There are many other options for electoral systems.

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For more information on Plurality Electoral Systems, and electoral reform in general, you can:

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