pizza parliament
n. A parliament consisting of many parties, each with only a relatively small number of seats and where no party has a majority of seats.

Example Citations:
Harper was also hurt by what has become a five-party political system in Canada.

"It's very difficult to get a majority in this 'pizza Parliament,' " Wiseman said.
—Andrew van Velzen and Geraldine Baum, "Canada's Conservative Party overcomes Bush comparisons," Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2008

Under proportional voting systems, countries often get "pizza parliaments", so called because a seating map of the legislature resembles a pizza cut into many pieces. In pizza parliaments, even the biggest parties rarely have enough seats to form a government and they are forced into alliances with smaller parties.
—"Response to Dipholo," Africa News, April 9, 2008

Earliest Citation:
What may happen is that two small regional parties, which opposed the constitutional changes, will win many seats away from the established parties in the next national election. Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow described the likely result as a "pizza Parliament" with a number of unmanageable ingredients.
—Christopher J. Chipello and John Urquhart, "Separatists Cheer Vote Rejecting Constitutional Proposal," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 1992

Related Words: