Proportional Representation IS modern democracy. Most modern democratic nations use proportional election methods for their local and national legislatures. In the American context of a two party system, with elections only contested as winner-take-all affairs, PR may seem foreign and complicated. On the contrary, PR systems provide political representation that is more broadly representative of a region or a country's poltical organizations, ideologies and viewpoints. Dozens of other countries, at all levels of economic and social development, successfully use one or another proportional method of election.
The most simple, and common, method of PR elections has voters entering an election booth and casting their vote for a party. The percentage of the total vote for each party results in the same percentage of seats on the council or legislature for that party. During the campaign, each party will publish their list of candidates in ranked order, so voters will know who they're voting for in advance. While the minimum required vote percentage varies from country to country, there is commonly a 4 or 5% threshold for a party to achieve any representation.
Most of Europe (except for Britain and France), most of Latin and South America, several countries in Africa, and almost all of the countries that have recently left the Soviet Union or the Yugoslavian federations, use PR to elect their local council and national legislatures. Even countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, which recently have been forced to change their governmental systems by U.S. intervention, have proportionally-elected legislatures.
We are, as closely as we can determine, the first party of its kind in the state and country. There are advocacy and lobbying groups like FairVote in Washington, DC, but our party is directly engaging for changes in the two party system. We are willing to work with any and all groups, parties, and individuals who willing to contest in the partisan political arena to bring about fundamental change in our electoral systems.
We will be conducting a campaign this year in New York to bring a PR candidate into all races in which no major party candidate has serious opposition (which by our count is roughly 90% of all state legislative races). This may involve no more than write-in candidacies but may become more if enough interest and resources can be brought to bear.
www.FairVote.com is the website for the Center for Voting and Democracy, the leading resource for information on PR in the United States. Other resources can be accessed by googling 'Proportional Representation'.