PR Library
     A source of information on proportional representation elections -- including beginning readings, in-depth articles by scholars and activists, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to related Web sites.  This site has been created by Professor Douglas J. Amy, Department of Politics, Mount Holyoke College. PLEASE NOTE: THIS WEBSITE IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED BY THE AUTHOR.

 PR Library is for citizens, activists, politicians, students and anyone else who wants to learn more about proportional representation elections (PR). Proportional representation -- sometimes also called "full representation" -- is the voting system used in most Western democracies and is widely considered to be fairer and more democratic than the current U.S. system. In the United States, interest in this electoral reform has been growing rapidly, fueled by Americans' frustration with our traditional winner-take-all elections. The different kinds of information about PR that are contained on this site are described below.  There is also a search engine -- provided by Picosearch -- that may be useful for finding information about specific topics.

BEGINNING READINGS  Those of you who are new to the issue of proportional representation might want to start with the beginning readings, which provide an overview of what voting systems are, how proportional representation voting works and why it is superior to our current voting system.   It also contains a glossary of terms used in the discussion of voting systems.  

ARTICLES  Those who already have some knowledge of the basics of PR might want to read the on-line articles by various scholars and activists. These pieces not only discuss the contemporary issues surrounding this election reform, but also explore some of the history of PR in the U.S., its effects on the representation of women and racial minorities, etc.  

PR WEB SITES   These sites are not only an invaluable source of additional information about PR, they also connect you to the various organizations who are working to promote this reform.

PR  BOOKS   Not all of the important information about PR is on the Web.  For example, several excellent books on proportional representation have been published, and they are essential reading for those who want an in-depth understanding of the issues involved in this electoral reform.  Descriptions of these books and ordering information can be found in this section of the site.

BIBLIOGRAPHY  Most of the articles written about PR, especially those written by scholars, are also not available on the Web.  However, these can be found by consulting the bibliography on this site. It contains citations to dozens of articles that can be found at any good library or ordered through interlibrary loan. For your convenience, links to various parts of the bibliography are also contained in sections of articles on a particular topic.  For instance if you go the articles on the "History of PR in the U.S.", there is a link to the part of the bibliography that lists works addressing this history.

"Now if you think that proportional representation is boring, you are a very silly person because it's about how we can run the country better."

 John Cleese
                              Monty Pythonís Flying Circus  

PR Library is maintained by Douglas J. Amy at Mount Holyoke College. If you have any comments, drop me a line at



This page was last revised March 2006

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