In multi-party democracies which run their elections on a “first past the post” basis, there are frequent calls for proportional representation. The federal Progressive Conservative party iin Canada, for instance, is barely clinging to its status as an official party, despite widespread support across the country.
The great argument against proportional representation in government is the lack of direct accountability by the representatives; the major parties would have some number of virtually guaranteed seats which can be doled out by the listmakers to whomever they wish. As long as they didn’t go too far off the deep end, their share of the vote would not be affected. With direct elections, at least the long-time party supporters in each riding have the opportunity to reject a specific candidate at election time.
Human nature being what it is, these places high in the electoral lists must be the object of intense lobbying, to say the least. In a worst-case scenario, the listmakers could simply auction off places on their list to the highest bidder.
What happens in practice in countries with this electoral system? What safeguards and scandals have actually occurred?