Concept

Proporz

Summary
Proporz (pʁoˈpɔʁts, from Proportionalität, "proportionality") is a long-standing practice in the Second Austrian Republic in which positions in government are distributed between political parties in a manner proportional to their electoral or public support. More broadly, it describes a culture of power sharing and consensus between Austria's two major parties, the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), which developed throughout the period of grand coalition government from 1945 to 1966. During this time, partisan divisions were established in most government institutions and the public service, designed to balance the influence of both parties. Much of the system has been dismantled over time, particularly since the 1990s. While in 1999 all but one of the nine federal states operated Proporz systems, five have since formally abolished them. Some aspects, such as its application on a municipal level, endure to this day.
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