Thanet residents are invited to join hundreds of people across the UK tomorrow (July 6) to call for an overhaul of the voting system. Campaigners will be running a street stall between 11am and 3pm at Ramsgate harbour, near the bus stop, with a petition to Craig Mackinlay MP calling for Proportional Representation in elections.
The street stall is one of around 100 being held across the UK – from Ramsgate to Belfast – in what is set to be one of the largest action for Proportional Representation, which is an electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them, in recent history.
Currently the UK uses the First Past the Post system in elections – meaning voters indicate on a ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins.
According to Make Votes Matter, the current voting system denies millions of people a voice in Parliament, forces millions more to vote tactically, and distorts the will of the British people. They point out that the Conservatives and DUP share a majority of seats in the House of Commons, despite receiving just 43 per cent of the vote in 2017.
Mel Winter, who is taking part in the action, said: “The current voting system is not fit for purpose, most countries have upgraded and they are able to represent the peoples voice in government, we don’t have representation with First Past the Post. Did you have to vote tactically in the last election? You shouldn’t need to by moving away from our current two party rule governance.”
Emma Knaggs, Grassroots Leader at Make Votes Matter, added: “British democracy is in desperate need of radical overhaul so that our Parliament reflects the people and how they voted. And that’s what Make Votes Matter campaigners in towns and cities across the UK will be making a noise about this Demand Democracy Day on Saturday.
“The way to achieve this is through a system of Proportional Representation so that if a party gets 20 per cent of the votes, they win 20 per cent of the seats.”
Votes do matter, sadly I can’t make this event, but if anyone gets a chance tell Craig the vote we need is a General election.
Yes – PR would be a brilliant system . . . instead of just having Labour and Conservative failing to agree on anything in Parliament we would have the Brexit Party, the Lib Dems and the Greens also failing to agree on anything – but at least everybody’s views would be represented !
“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” Mark Twain
Since 1945 until 2010, there were 18 General Elections, and trust me on this as I am a member of the Electoral Reform Society, and calculated with available data, that the average Turnout was 73.8%! That means over a quarter of the electorate never bothered to vote, about the same as during the Referendum! The average percentage of the Vote to elect any government was just 43.4%. Therefore the average vote to elect a government was 43.4% of 73.8%, which is 32.02%! This means on average about 68% never voted for any government, how is that democratic?
There was a national referendum on PR in 2011 – less than 43% of the electorate voted,so the majority were clearly not bothered about changing the current system.Of the just over 19 million that did vote,over 13 million were against any change to the current system,so a better than 2-1 majority.Now THAT’S clearly democracy;PR is a non starter with the bulk of British voters.
Of course its a non starter with the British public, I am well into my eighth decade, and have been politically aware since the 60’s, and its my considered opinion the majority of people are politically ill informed, and ignorant! In fact I remember at least 30 years ago seeing research that showed only about 15% of the adult population could be shown to be politically aware, and knowledgeable, which is about right in my opinion, and the same today!
I was active during the referendum to change to PR, and found the majority of people just could not understand it, and neither could I! Its was a massive cock up led by the LibDems, to go for a system that was meaningless for most people! The vast majority of the grown up countries, mainly in Europe, have PR, whereby people vote for a political party, and not for a person! Trades unions have a better system, whereby people can vote for their choice by order of preference, marking their paper 1. 2. 3. 4. etc, these are then added up and the party with the most votes wins. The party selects the number of MP’s from a list they already prepared, which is much better than having a non representative constituency MP, who the majority didn’t vote for! In any case, Constituency MP’s can only deal with proposed and existing legislation, and hold government ministers to account, they have nothing to do with local issues, which are by and large dealt with by Local Councillors! Its too late for me, but until the population are weaned off the popular press, and biased radio programmes, there will only be unrepresentative government, to ensure the ruling class continue to rule!