The Promise of Proportional Representation for Democracy
As the challenges facing American democracy have grabbed headlines in recent years, problems like partisan gerrymandering and political polarization have become all too familiar to many Americans. Likewise, few today would be surprised to hear that many of their fellow citizens feel that their vote does not matter or that their views are not adequately represented.
Moving to a system of multi-member districts with proportional representation could end gerrymandering, reduce polarization, and help more Americans feel their voice is represented in Congress. However, a little-known 1967 law – the Uniform Congressional District Act -- prevents this reform and locks the U.S. into a deeply flawed electoral system.
The American Academy’s 2020 Our Common Purpose report recommends revamping this law, and a recent Report from OCP Champions Unite America and Protect Democracy expands on that recommendation and outlines a path forward. In this virtual event co-hosted by Unite America, Andy Craig, Steven Olikara, Norm Ornstein, Alora Thomas-Lundborg, and Grant Tudor discussed why a growing body of experts believe this reform would strengthen American democracy.