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.”