People in Brixton will join a national day of action to demand Proportional Representation tomorrow (Saturday, 30 June).
“Demand Democracy Day” – organised by campaign group Make Votes Matter – spans more than 60 locations from Cornwall to Scotland. It comes just days before the start of “National Democracy Week”: the government’s “celebration” of British democracy.
Campaigners say the UK’s “undemocratic” First Past the Post voting system makes a mockery of the celebrations – and are launching a petition calling on local MP Kate Hoey to support a move to Proportional Representation.
A street stall where residents can sign the petition will be set up on the corner of Tunstall Road from 10 – 12 on Saturday morning.
The street stall will be one of more than 60 set up across the UK – from Truro to Aberdeen – in what is touted as one of the largest mobilisations for Proportional Representation in living memory.
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.
Meanwhile, 3.5 million people voted for either the Green Party, Liberal Democrats or UKIP – parties that ended up sharing just 13 MPs between them.
Klina Jordan, Co-founder of Make Votes Matter, said: “Proportional Representation simply means that Parliament reflects how the people vote – if a party gets 20 per cent of the votes, they win 20pc of the seats.
“Most developed countries already take this for granted, but in the UK we’re still blighted by an antiquated system which completely distorts the will of the people. “It’s time we caught up with the rest of the developed world by switching to a form of Proportional Representation.”
The event comes just days before the start of the inaugural “National Democracy Week” (2-8 July), which celebrates British democracy. Campaigners say British democracy will only be worth celebrating once we have a Parliament the reflects the people: Proportional Representation.
Notes: Make Votes Matter is the cross-party movement Proportional Representation to the House of Commons.
The petition to local MPs can be signed at the street stall or online.
85pc of OECD* countries use some form of Proportional Representation. Just Canada, the UK and the US use First Past the Post.
The Alternative Vote – on which the UK had a referendum in 2011 – is not a form of PR. On 29 October 2010, Parliament voted against offering voters any form of PR in that referendum.
Parties, politicians and public figures in the Make Votes Matter Alliance have supported Demand Democracy Day and the call for an overhaul of the voting system. Such figures include Vince Cable MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats; Helen Pankhurst, granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst; Caroline Lucas MP, Co-Leader of the Green Party; Sandy Martin MP, Labour; Tommy Sheppard MP, SNP; and Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party. (Source: Make Votes Matter)
*The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; French: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. (Source: Wikipedia)