22nd Sep, 2020

'Make Votes Matter' event in Bromsgrove will call for 'fairer voting system'

Tristan Harris 21st Aug, 2020 Updated: 21st Aug, 2020

BROMSGROVE campaigners have urged others to join them in a nationwide day of action which they say is aimed at getting the UK a fairer voting system.

Tomorrow (Saturday) the national Make Votes Matter campaign is being held, calling for a proportional representation (PR) system to replace for the current ‘First Past the Post’ method used in British elections.

As part of the drive, a socially-distanced rally will be held at the Lickey Hills car park, Monument Lane, from 3pm.

Photographs will be posted on social media using the #DemandDemocracy hashtag.

The Bromsgrove group is part of Make Votes Matter, a national, cross-party campaign advocating Proportional Representation (PR) for UK House of Commons elections.

Local organiser Dr David Nicholl, from the Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats, said: “The UK is one of only three countries out of 43 in Europe who use first past the post.

“All the other countries use some form of Proportional Representation which leads to greater diversity, more women in Parliament and higher voter turn-out.”

Fellow Lib-Dem Sam Evans, highlighted in a campaign launch film, added: “No party has won over the 50 per cent of the vote in a UK election since 1935.”

The cross-party nature of the group was highlighted by Ros Cooke who has been a member of the Labour Party in Bromsgrove for 50 years.

She stated a majority of grassroots Labour activists were calling for the party to support PR at its conference next year.

A poll held in 2011 to introduce Alternative Voting (AV) attracted at a national turnout of 42 per cent but was rejected by 67.9 per cent of those who had their say.

But Emma Knaggs, Grassroots Leader at Make Votes Matter, said she felt the national mood was changing.

“Our First Past the Post voting system means Parliament does not reflect how the UK voted.

“The Government has a landslide majority of seats, but this is despite the Conservatives receiving less than 44 per cent of the votes.

“We need to change to a system of Proportional Representation so votes count equally, and so governments represent the diversity of people and views in our communities and society.

“It’s absolutely critical to people’s participation and faith in democracy.

“The response to our Make Votes Matter Day of Action campaign has been fantastic, with people overcoming the current Covid-19 restrictions safely by picking up placards and taking pictures at local landmarks across the UK.

“The interest in our campaign shows the growing appetite for change amongst the electorate.”

A petition calling for MPs to support Proportional Representation can be viewed here https://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk/sign-petition

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