Sunday's election in Germany shows that even with PR, a minority party can wind up with all the power. Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU party garnered 49.5% of the power on 42% of the vote. If she had got 43%, she would've won an “absolute majority.”
Germany uses Mixed-Member Proportional voting. People vote for a candidate and for a party. Seats are awarded to winning candidates; party-list seats top up a party's total seats so they are the same percent as the vote.
Merkel almost won an “absolute majority” on 42% of the vote. Not exactly proportional…
But there's a catch. A party must get 5% of the vote before getting party-list seats.
Minor parties that didn't make the 5% cut on Sunday totaled 9.8% of the vote. These seats were distributed among parties that did make the threshold.
Is a 5% threshold a good idea?
PV majority threshold
If we had PV ranked ballot in 2011, Harper would've got only 46% of the seats on 40% of the vote (instead of 54%.) That's a 15% gain from proportional (instead of 35%.) One can use this number to extrapolate the percentage of the vote needed to get a majority — 155 of 308 seats, or 50.32%. The PV majority threshold is about 44% — or 5 points higher than FPP.
Since both PV and PR stop vote splitting, this will result in the formation of more parties that better represent voters. Not only that, elections will tend to produce multi-party majority governments, putting a stop to single-party dictatorships. That, in turn, will foster open, transparent and accountable government which represents an actual majority of voters.