An open meeting for the “Make Votes Matter” campaign was held in Stroud on October 20th (ahead of a petition for the proposal of Proportional Representation being debated in Parliament on October 30th). The meeting was enthousiastically supported by the Green Party and particularly by our District Council candidate for Chalford, Robin Lewis.
Robin commented: “We should change our voting system to one that uses Proportional Representation (PR) and gives all sections of society a vote that matters. Latest polls say 67% of the public want to make seats match votes. Decades of research from around the world shows that PR correlates with a huge range of positive outcomes; greater income equality, less corporate control, better long-term planning and political stability, fairer representation of women and minorities, higher voter turnout, better environmental laws and a significantly lower likelihood of going to war. Under a fair, proportional system, the Green Party would have 11 MPs following the general election this year.”
Martin Whiteside, Councillor for Brimscombe and Thrupp and Group Leader for the Greens on Stroud District Council stated: “The evidence is clear that in the General Election many local people felt they had to vote tactically, rather than feeling free to vote for the party they actually believe in. But it is also clear that even under the exceptional conditions like the ones saw in the General Election, our broken electoral system does not deliver healthy results. Theresa May’s deal with the DUP looks at best unstable and that its days will be numbered. A fair system would ensure politics looks like the people it represents. The Green Party will keep fighting for a fairer, more democratic voting system that accurately represents what the country wants.”
Makes Vote Matter is a cross-party campaign that seeks to introduce Proportional Representation to the House of Commons. Seats in Parliament do not match parties vote shares because we use the unrepresentative “First past the Post” voting system; whilst the vast majority of the developed world use forms of Proportional Representation (so if a party gets 10% of the vote, they get roughly 10% of the seats). Klina Jordan, one of the campaign’s founders, gave a talk about how we can get a fairer voting system, and what a local branch of the campaign could achieve here in the Stroud District.
It’s interesting to note that the DUP received fewer than 300,000 votes at the last election but returned 10 MPs (and found themselves in a strong position of influence over the government); while the Green Party got more than 500,000 votes but returned only one MP. Unsurprisingly, the DUP are strong supporters of “First Past The Post”.
Please consider contributing to crowd-funding of the Make Votes Matter campaign.